Outside, the wind howls and tears at the trees, bending branches and sending aged trunks swaying. Their thin fingertips, which look so much more cheerful when full of life, are long devoid of any comforting greenery. The wind may howl, but it is muted by the long pane of glass stretching for miles in either direction. It is a prison wall between the wild world outside and the clean, sterilized world within. Behind the glass stands a row of doors, like eyes staring longingly out at the wide world into which they know they cannot venture. A long row of doors, each one exactly like the last as they march on their way, trying to chase the end of the glass in either direction. There has been some attempt at creativity—some of the doors open right instead of left—but the rooms within are identical nonetheless. Indeed, if paints could come down off of walls and go out to dinner, this particular palette would be the most dull, tedious, and tiresome company in the entire history of parties. Scarcely a mote of dust dares to swirl on the chill draft that sweeps in as the door hisses open, letting in the veritable flood of humanity. I sink down in front of one of the doors, my back to the long glass, and let my bag slide to the floor beside me. In a moment, the towering door before me will squeak open, freeing those who have dared to go before me while also beckoning in the hallway haunters who wait without. All around, I hear the hushed and glum whispers of poor, weary souls… “First day of class…”
I am standing in the midst of a field. The tall grass is yellowed and golden; every faint gust of wind sends the stalks rippling and swaying like an ocean. The air is empty; there is no sound save the murmuring of the golden waves. There is nothing beyond my field but a wide dome of soft blue. It is close, so very close, as though I can almost touch the sky. There is nothing here, except the field, the sky, and I.
I am standing on the brink. This is a no man’s land. I did not always stand amid these bowing stalks and I will not remain here forever, but today I am caught between. I am trapped in this field; this place that is somehow between yesterday and tomorrow. I hold my breath. I can feel my heart beat. My mind is restless; there is something waiting for me beyond the edge of this field, but I cannot move. Why will I not move? I am waiting, though I know not what for. There is something coming, coming to me as I wait in the field. Do I go to meet it? Can I move? Will I? There is a strong wind now and it blows with the scent of rain—the scent of rain and the scent of change. My hair is whipping around my face, the grass is dancing, and my heart and breath are in a race. I am standing in a field, golden in the sun, but the sky begins to cloud… the rain has begun.