Joey Cifelli ’23
Phosphor bulbs dust their chalky white light over the asphalt. They remind me of a certain kind of diamond I read about many years ago, during my geology days. I read a textbook on the properties of numerous ores, minerals, and gemstones. Diamonds in particular stood out to me. Did you know that some diamonds glow under ultraviolet light? It varies by the stone. The glow is an undesirable property, and diamonds which glow less or not at all are considered to be the highest quality. This makes me sad, though I’m not sure why exactly. Something to do with ascribing human traits to minerals. They don’t take to it too kindly. I reach into my pocket and feel the cool lumps with my fingertips. 6.4/10.
These days I’m in the opal business. Opals are the opposite of diamonds: smooth where they are sharp, black where they are clear, and mystifying where the diamonds, truth be told, are not. A surface dark as pitch, upon which veins of technicolor, crystal blood motionlessly pulses. I connect with them deeply. We’re both mostly empty, and yet sometimes a little bit of color worms its way through the muck and flicks its head about, and it feels like maybe it won’t be that way for much longer. So I tell myself, anyway. 6.8/10.
I find myself asking strange questions to the mirror. Why am I still living in a dirty apartment? Well, I don’t have anyone to show it to and impress. Why don’t I cook meals for myself? Why don’t I take walks outside like I used to? I used to love taking walks. I loved smelling the saltiness of the air and the sea foam on the cliff overlooking my park. I never thought about enjoying it, and I don’t think that’s even what I thought it was at the time. But, looking back, it might have not only been a liking of it, but something stronger. Do you ever find yourself taking something for granted, only to see it fade away? That’s cliché, and I don’t think it’s exactly what I feel. It’s as if I never took my life for granted, but a weight was placed inside my chest from the moment I was born, and I finally let go of it recently. Only now I don’t feel light and free and ready to fly off, I just feel hollow. 7.2/10.
I hear saxophones buzzing in the park outside my window, their itchy notes floating over on the breeze. Makes me want to walk over. I think I might. After lunch. Well, I have some work I need to be doing anyway. A few more pages to the report. The breeze is nice coming in the room like this. I don’t think I’d miss much by staying in here. All my things are here. My computer, my phone, the air is the right temperature even with the window open. I don’t have to worry about talking to anyone or looking at anyone. It’s not so bad really. I think I’ll put on a video and sit back. Oh, there’s a knock at the door. No one ever comes to visit. I didn’t think anyone knew I lived here, even. It’s probably a wrong knock. And yet, well, they might be lost. I should help them. I think, I think I’ll get up after all. 6.2/10.