How dragons are born.
Posted March 09 2012
She is squatting on a floor, staring at the broken pieces of her shell strewn all around her. She doesn't move, her shoulders are hunched, her head bent. She is hugging herself. She is cold. Actually cold, her arms are covered with goose bumps. There is a draft, she can feel the air moving on her skin. She can smell dust clinging to the corners of her room, she can hear noises, muffled sounds of people walking, cars driving by, birds chirping. It is too much, to many sensations, to many feelings where before there was only smooth, shiny, hard perfection. She feels overwhelmed, shocked. She didn't know, she didn't know one could feel all this. Does she wish she could go back? Go back to her shell? No, no she doesn't. This is not comfortable, this does not feel good but this is real. The shell wasn't.
She picks up a jagged piece of smooth porcelain, pearly white. She turns it around in her finger. This was me, she thinks, this was my skin. She should feel something, that it should be important to her, but it's not. It's done, she lets the piece fall to the floor. She stands up, stretches her arms, bends over. It feels, it actually feels to move. What now? What should she do now? She feels lost, confused. Somehow her routine is gone, shed together with her skin. What now? She moves her arms around, she remembers the fluid graceful gestures from before, but it doesn't work. It's seems silly, it's ridiculous. It doesn't seem graceful and shiny anymore, it looks stupid.
She let's her arms drop, she moves her head around instead. This whole place changed. It's darker but somehow richer, the colors are stronger, more vibrant. The polished table gleaming darkly, the wooden floor golden and glowing, blue curtains, deep green of the plants. It all used to be so bright, so glossy, so perfect and remote. Now it is here, right here. She can smell it, she bends and puts her nose to the little side table - yes, she can smell it. A faint trace of earthy dust, overpowered by some wood polish soap. She touches the table, slides her fingers across it's surface. She can feel it - scratches, groves, tiny indentations. She could feel nothing before.
Yes, but what now? She has no answer still, she stands in the center of her room, looks around. The shock fades, the uncertainty, the confusion, all is pushed away, slowly but surely, by another feeling. This feels good! She realizes, this really feels good. Feeling feels good. She straightens up a bit, her body feels warmer, the goose bumps are gone, the hunched shoulders relax.
What now? The question comes again but she pushes it aside. Not now, I haven't seen everything yet. She looks at the window - the window! This is a window and she never looked through it, she's never seen what's outside! She reaches it in two, long strides, grabs the curtain, yanks it aside, throws the window open and gapes in astonishment. What a view, what a world! Look at all the buildings, all those shapes, colors, textures! There is wood and glass and stone, red bricks and grey ones, smooth marble slabs, old, dull weathered granite, scuffed pavement stones, chipped and broken. There are trees growing here and there, scrawny young things fighting for air and light, old dignified patriarchs spreading their mighty branches into green canopies, spilling black shade onto the street. There is the street and cars chasing each other's tales, and there are people. All those people moving freely here and there, some with sudden jerky movements, others slowly, carefully. People, they all look different, oh how wonderful it is that they all look different, not one of them is smooth and perfect, not one of them has a glossy face and hard, shiny limbs. They are all full of color, strong rich color like her dark polished table, like her golden floors, like her blue curtains.
This is really good, she is certain now. This is life, this is the real life and I was just born, just hatched to be free in it. She doesn't know where this idea comes from, this freedom, she doesn't know what it means but it feels good. It feels like a warm glowing fire that starts in her belly and courses through her wains to her chest, to her legs. It spreads slowly, she can't feel it everywhere yet but it is coming, she knows.
She leans out of the window, gripping the windowsill tightly. I must go there, I must go out, oh I will, soon, she thinks. But not quite yet, she wants to hang back a little, she wants to savor the view. She looks. She looks at people. A young woman walking quickly, almost running, a bag slung carelessly across her shoulder. It keeps slipping, the woman readjusts it with a short, irritated gesture as she passes by a man, an older man in a long grey coat with a grey hat. She can't see his face. He carries a briefcase and seems in s great hurry. His measured steps ring and bounce off of the walls of the buildings, not as loudly as the steps of a woman in a furry, rusty coat. Her high hills clap like castanets as she hurries ahead of him, nearly tripping over a couple of young boys in red jackets running in the opposite direction. The boys do run straight into a corpulent men who stumbles and swears at them loudly. The boys run away, the man shakes his fist after them, straightens up his coat and glances up as he readjusts his cap. He looks at her for a moment, then looks away. It startles her, it gives her a pose, the look in his eyes - passive and disinterested. A look without color.
She shakes her head, there is a hint of uncertainty slipping underneath the warm fiery excitement spreading through her body. This is the world, isn't it? This live, vibrant world she was born into? It is the world of color and freedom, it must be, but then … she looks out again, looks at the people. Those people all so different, all so unique, with all their shapes, kinds and sizes. She looks at their faces, she looks into their eyes and the cold hint of uncertainty unfolds into a hand and twists her stomach into a hard knot. They all look the same, their eyes, they all look the same. Distant, uninterested, passive and frightened. She slumps against the window sill. She can see it now - their movements, the set of their shoulders, the bent heads, the hurried, ringing steps and the slow, shambling ones. They are all the same. All the same.
What now? She is disappointed, bitterly disappointed, her golden hope squashed and put out. She just got born, she only now hatched into the world outside her egg that isn't all that much different from the life inside it. At least her egg was shiny and glossy, at least it was perfect! She eyes the pile of broken shards that used to be her shell resentfully. She is getting angry. What is she supposed to do? She left one egg only to be fitted into another one? What is she to do now? Be like those people, the people on the streets, hurry back and forth with fear in her eyes? Or else, what else? Are there any other people here? Should she go find them? But what if they are the same, all just like one another? It may be a different sameness, but a sameness nonetheless. No! this is not what I hatched for! She stomps her foot angrily.
The fire in her belly seems hotter, fed by her anger, it spread through her torso and into her arms, spilling down to her knees. A fierce, warm fiery glow. Oh, this feels good! It feels good, this warmth, as it spreads pushing the disappointment away, drowning the confusion. This feels good, she thinks as the fire riches her head and fills it full of bright and orange light. I will not look for people! She decides, and she draws a finger along the window sill. The white lacquered wood flows after it, curling into swirls as she twists her hand, as she knew it would. I will not look for another shell, for another egg, she thinks as the blue curtains wrap themselves around her head into a blue cloud, growing larger and larger, raising higher into the sky, chased by streams of flames blooming from her open mouth. This feels good, she says in a deep, rumbling voice, this is right, she thinks as she looks around with her brilliant eyes, eyes made of molten emeralds, silted like the eyes of a cat. It is right for me to shape this world, to make it and mould it to fit me, not to fit into it like a silly hatchling, like a frightened human. She raises herself tall on her hunches, spreads her wings wide and roars, the triumph and defiance of a new born dragon.