Fuchsia in South Dakota


Eric Airel L. Salas

It has been four days and everything looks a little beyond ordinary. Few books on my desk. The bag in a corner with one of its slings about to disintegrate after hours of clinging to a loose thread. Beddings arranged one on top of the other. The slick Vanguard tripod I brought hasn’t been moved – its legs somewhat dusty. Some old pictures taped on the mirror and a couple of postcards posted on the wall. Two lonely chairs, the black metallic floor and the slightly opened door …

Nothing is moving, as if my Wecota Annex room is devoid of the slightest breath. In the flash of stillness, or the impassivity of almost everything, I play a different music in my mind of believing and not to. Believing that somehow a thing hidden somewhere in this room is not controlled by the momentary placidity. Not believing that nothing is moving. Believing that the bed lamp, glowing in its 60-watt bulb, providing a rather dim yellowish or could-be golden light, being squared by a wooden two-deck bed and circled by my own imaginings, is imaginarily breathing.

Even “War Trash” and “The Sea” are breathing, so I thought. Only two out of the hundred fiction and non-fiction books are with me after friends asked for a few and my sister pledged to keep the rest for herself.

Coming here to South Dakota from the Philippines, I carted with me six colored papers, all for the reason of satisfying a hobby I usually do – painting. However, only three of the six are left after I accidentally dropped a meat sauce over one while having a little selfish childish merrymaking one fine rainy morning. One paper just disappeared, like there was magic sprinkled in the room while I was away. Another one just shrunk by itself. You’d feel a scary sensation when you touch it – rough, you know, that little all-too-familiar roughness you get on your fingertips after a long stay in the shower.

Colored papers – red, blue and violet (or maybe fuchsia, I always find it hard to differentiate the two) – are left on my desk with little smileys printed on them and with matching linear accents of red, blue and violet (or maybe fuchsia).

This feeling of aloneness inside my room is nothing but a portion of my mind that is fascinated at the seemingly endless complexities of thoughts stillness amazingly creates. Loving it every second, I prefer not to bury the feelings. Not now. Moments like this, however intermittently disturbed by a running car outside, make me take a glance at good life. I could easily watch myself do sprightly escapes, skyrocket through the clouds in bright blue colors and run through the green fields chasing grasshoppers, dragonflies or butterflies.

I am alone, but not totally lonely. I saw a small crack on the wall only I could see. I do not want to know everything about stillness now. I want this feeling to repeat. When it happens again, I’d make sure to leap much higher to see more, observe deeper to know more and notice the different colors only stillness could give – not only red, blue and violet (or maybe, again, it’s fuchsia).