No. This is not a wrinkled picture taken from out of a magazine. This is a real photo. A picture of the valley right before autumn settled over the leaves to change their colors. It is from a second-storey bedroom window, and I am not sure why there looks to be wavy lines in the one corner. I suppose I could have cropped that edge, since my original purpose was just to show everyone how hilly Pennsylvania is.
Yet . . .
Every time I stared at this picture I looked at those waves, like the land was rolling, like it was not really there. Perhaps something lurked underneath, much in the same way that motionless water could hide something beneath the surface. And all I saw of its movements were the ripples it left behind after taking a big breath and sinking back down.
I tried to press my hand against it, wondering if it were some magical portal leading to strange and wondrous places. Yet all I felt was the cold glass against my palm. Cold. Real.
Reality was like this, snapping a person back from the brink of fantasy. Yet we still fight so hard to have such fantasies, to give us a brief bit of entertainment or a faint smile to an otherwise boring existence.
I wanted to press inside, but I could not.
Maybe I could reach out and snag an edge of it, pull and maybe even tear the side to show what was making such a wavy disturbance. I could pull the edge away with a swing of my hand and see if there was something better that had always been hidden.
Rip. So simple. But there was no edge to grab. There was no piece of curled paper my ragged fingernails could grasp. I turned away and saw the chair. It was heavy, but not too heavy to lift. It had strong metal legs. It could . . . it could break the glass.
I lifted the chair and took several practice swings judging how much force to use to break through without forcing any jagged pieces to fly back toward me. Hands lifted the chair over my head. I would give a good toss. Then I would turn away to protect my face. One good toss.
Did I really want to do this? Maybe whatever lurked underneath was not something I wanted to see. Maybe dangers lurked beneath the ripples. Maybe those fantasies were dark fantasies that were better left undisturbed. It might be better to leave things alone and not take that chance. Besides, things were fine just the way they were.
Let the opportunity pass by.
No. I don’t think so. Even if it were not something I wanted or expected on the other side, at least I could say that I tried.