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a midsummer's night power outage

A story written by Carlisle Sargent.


A Midsummer’S Night Power Outage

Their voices linger and I’m not even sure how all three can stay in one room like they do. How sound can settle like a mist onto furniture and eyebrows, like glittering dust inside a museum. The chords bring me somewhere warm and cold at the same time, under a blanket trapped inside a snow globe and I feel the wash of promise that slides over my muscles, sinking deeper into leather: a meditation. All I hear is the rustle of grass that’s dying on a slope that’s never gonna. All I am is a pair of ears, no eyes or hands or voice or vice or weight. I look beside me and it’s multiplied, the feeling. Stretched between two people like a velvet dream, we listen. I close my broken, missing eyes and press my invisible hands into the couch, as if I could be anchored to any single word coming out of mobile blended voices. I don’t understand why my life outside of this room is so complex. Within it, I am a knot being slowly untied by wrinkled hands, a patient peace-maker with chipped nails, I am dirt. I am the color of existence.

We sit, the few of us that ache for it, and become and play and sing and listen. I owe it to the mountains and the sunshine and the distance for giving me the gift of a room bursting with life. If there was a formula for staying young, we’d write it down.

Then throw it out.