A grey and suffocating dust was gathering upon the books, the table and the windowsill. And upon the mirror and the desk and the photo frames.
A dustless path was clear, marking a popular route from the bed to the door.
This woman had built up a world of memories and opportunities, shown in the novels on her bookshelf, now with cobwebs draping over the pages that only fingers and tears should touch. Shown in the photo frames, a dirty haze blocking the moment that once made the corners of eyes crinkle. Shown in the pens littering the desk, now too stiff to de-lid.
And I thought, was this how we all lived? But on a greater scale. Using only a fraction of our possibilities. Breathing in but not filling our lungs. Looking but not seeing what is around us. Only in front of us. Having what we need, but not what we want. And wanting but not aching. Touching but not feeling. Eating but not tasting. Talking but not saying. Thinking but not wondering.
And it scared me so that I blew and blew.
I blew the dust off of my eyes, I blew the dust off of my hands, I blew the dust off of my feet, I blew the dust off of my mouth.
And I went outside and I breathed. I breathed in for so long my eyes widened and my fingers stretched and my toes stretched.
And I laughed because I couldn't believe I had been so numb.