Keep Art Alive :: Art by Wlodzimierz Kuklinski
“I didn’t know I was lost at the time,
so I went looking for an exit sign.”
It was time to leave, time to go, time to follow the waning sound of music away on down the u-turned road. The red dye is fading, maybe she will let it leave her forever, blending into what only comes naturally.
Does she even remember who she is underneath, anything real and natural, does it exist anymore?
She leaves “Isabel” on the side of the street, next to three misshapen trees, their branches bending as if to say “we feel your sad, little one.” She answers back with a smile, crooked and contrived, but it is all she has to give. She remembers a girl who sat in front of her for a pre-adolescent year, longer than most, the era of brightly colored bubble gum packages, erasers that smell like artificially imagined fruit, and those first fleeting signs of womanhood coming to call. The girl in question was a strawberry blonde, with dot-to-dot freckles and tiny wrists that looked bird-like brittle, breakable, beautiful.
What was her name? Can she reach that far back to remember? The trees seem to bend further in a conspiring comfort, carrying with them the breeze that blows through her hair. That girl seemed to have it so easy, soft breaths and a simple way of laughing while crinkling up her nose, her fingers combing carelessly through her long, straight hair.
Allison was it, she thinks. Allison will take Isabel’s place, on this road with the crooked trees, and the music off in the distance. It is time for a change, time to turn to the right, time for “Allison” to find her way home.