Thursday, February 11, 2010
A woman sits alone in a dim garage. The overhead florescent light attached to the ceiling and two tall floor lamps are all off. There is a row of frosted glass on the top of the garage door, and through this, the filtered light of a late afternoon finds her form and illuminates the room in a pale bluish hue that grows weak by the walls. She sits on an old wooden stool with three rungs, and her bare feet rest on the lowest one, curling slightly around the smooth bar. The stool has no back, and the woman sits up relatively straight, though her shoulders sag slightly around the straps of her thin tank-top. Below the stool is a rectangular maroon carpet that is frayed on all sides, but clean and bright in the center, a silent reminder of its old glory. Outside, on the sidewalk just beyond the boundary of the wooden garage door, worn and weathered from years of rain, are the clear sounds of passersby. The soft padded step of a man intent on his destination, the click clap of a woman’s heels. A man singing to himself, just a little louder than a whisper, the whistling of a car badly in need of a tune-up. The woman sits. The walls of the garage are covered in posters and framed paintings, but in the low light of the garage, they are barely visible. A long wood work bench sits along the wall shared with the garage door. It is clear but for a few glass jars of paintbrushes that sit close to the wall. The stems of each paintbrush are stained with paint: red, blue, not a single color is absent. Perpendicular to the garage door is a cherry wood desk, its design is slightly curved, a blend of art deco and turn-of-the century style. Each of the six drawers are embellished with delicate lined carvings that bend delicately to create the drawer’s handle. A few scattered papers lay on top of the desk, but behind them and towards the wall is a small metal box holding random papers and magazines. Beside it, a small ceramic cup holds three sharpened pencils, ready for use. The woman on the stool is just a few feet away from both desks. On the wall to her left are three black bookshelves. Each shelf is filled with books, outdated encyclopedias and years worth of magazines, there is not an inch for one more. Every shelf is dusted, each book spine completely clean. Behind the woman is a flight of red wooden stairs that lead to the apartment above the garage, they are also clean, but for a few stands of black hair have gathered on the bottom step. Below the sounds of the street outside is the gentle lull of the neighbor’s washing machine, it seeps in through the thin wall and acts like glue, gathering the scattered noises to build a singular song.