Thoughts while painting

by Eman

I stared, entranced, at a roll of tissue paper. The last person to use it hadn’t torn their piece across the perforated edges properly, and a bit of forlorn paper billowed in the breeze of the air conditioning. It danced to the tune of brushes scratching at rough paper, and the dull whirring of a dozen minds desperately trying to bring a canvas to life with the sort of sorcery that decency denies me to discuss.

There was a silent agreement that no one was to speak louder than a murmur. I looked down at my own empty bunker and urged my insides to squeeze out something worth putting brush to water for. I rotated it clockwise bit my lip and rotated it once more. I peered through the dim light and allowed my mind to absorb the tics and nudges, the squints and flutters, the colors cavorting on top of one another, seeding into each other, crying, weeping, changing. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I saw boxes and lines. Stark lines segregating the wetness of the paint and the dryness of the air, the smell of perspiration and the bleeding of cadmium. Isolated sensations, boxed feelings, quarantined consciousness. I sighed and allowed a drop of water to fall from my paintbrush, realizing that a torn bit of paper dangling at the periphery of our perception was the only thing that had meaning.