Floating in space hanging onto a doorknob / by padhia hutton

I had a friend who I was pretty convinced was packed up by angels before she was sent down to earth. Every single thing I ever craved in terms of just basic worldly comfort, she was carefully accommodated with. Her life was soft, gentle, and comfortable. If I closed my eyes, I could almost hear the soundtrack of harp music playing in the background. She saw none of it, and more often than not was obsessing over small details of imperfection. She would ruminate to the point that her world would go dark and collapse under the weight of her despair. Our knowing each other used to consist of her using me like a stuffed animal saying whatever she pleased, knowing I would listen as long as necessary and say nothing back, while silently feeling like a circular saw of anger and frustration fueled by injustice was sawing its way deeper and deeper into my chest.

One day I cracked. “When I was growing up, sometimes in the middle of the night I would feel as if I were floating in space. I had no home planet and no where that I belonged. Imagine not only not having your family, but no species, no people, no God, and no home planet.” I said. “It took all of the courage I had to slip into the darkness, wondering if gravity would fail me and make my way to my mom’s door. I would try the knob. The deadbolt was always locked. So I would make my way back into the darkness and grab some pillows and blankets and make a little nest and snuggle against the door. It was cold at first, but soon the wood would warm up. As the sun would start to rise, I would stare upwards and I could see beautiful patterns in the chipped paint on the doorknob. The knob used to be gold but then it was painted over in white and then at another point, in blue. In some places the scratches are chasms of pure gold. The gold shines brilliantly in tiny revealed slivers peeking out from layers of white and blue in the morning sun. I would get lost in it, in its beauty. I never saw the scratches, it just seemed exactly as it should be. The world would slip away and I would feel truly happy.”

The colorful explosion of horror and confusion on her face, turned to plain dismissal. “I am not the type of person who can look at a doorknob and feel happy.” she snapped viciously.

She didn’t have to be.