Inside Out

Inside Out (500Words Round 2, Week 2, Day 3, 1/24/18)

I sat there, staring out the window, watching the single snowflake take its time in getting down to the sidewalk. I felt envious of its leisurely approach, at how it clearly didn’t have anywhere it needed to be, at how it could land when it landed. As it finally made contact with the sidewalk, I saw it sit, unmoving, for a moment before giving itself up to the concrete and melting away. There was beauty in that moment even though the end result was that the snowflake disappeared. I stared at the spot where the snowflake had been for longer than I should have. It seemed important, somehow.

I pulled myself away from the window to get into my coat and hat. I thought about digging around for my snow pants and decided that would be overkill. It wasn’t that cold, and it wasn’t really going to snow. I was sure that one snowflake was all the sky had to offer me, even though I’d hoped for a proper snowstorm. I stomped my feet into my boots and grabbed my sketchbook. I had one hand on the door before I remembered.

I couldn’t go outside.

I backed away from the door, keeping my eyes on the doorknob as if it was going to turn on its own. I had been inside for three weeks and this was the first time I’d touched the door.

“Nothing happened,” I told myself. “Everything is fine. I’m fine. I’m inside. Everything is fine.” After a deep breath, I carefully put my sketchbook down on the table next to the window. I could draw the outside from the inside. I unzipped my jacket and let it fall off my narrow frame. I didn’t want to touch it – it was too close to outside. I pulled my hat off and dropped it on top of my coat.

I left my boots on, though, because they felt good. My feet looked unfamiliar in them, and that somehow felt right. It was while I was pacing back and forth in front of the window that the snow started again, this time in earnest. Instead of a single, lonely snowflake that disappeared a moment after landing now there were hundreds of big, fat snowflakes racing each other down to the sidewalk. And they stayed. They all stayed and came together to cover the concrete and create a blanket of cold and white.

I saw it all happen, from the safety of inside.

It didn’t take long for the trees to be covered in snow just like the sidewalk. They stood proud like they were showing off their new winter coats. I opened my sketchbook to a fresh page and, still wearing my boots, sat down in front of the window to capture their beauty on paper. As I worked, the desire to be outside in the snow started to return. I could feel it rising and it made me draw faster and sharper. I was trying to draw the desire away. I wanted to use my pencil to protect me from the outside and the outside from me.

Inside was safe. Outside – I couldn’t go outside.




* All 500Words are fiction.  Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *


One thought on “Inside Out”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *