GREGOR SAMSA NEEDS NEW SHOES
A grey day becomes a grey evening, settles into a grey night. The sidewalk crumbles like ash underfoot as I wobble into a pewter room. I stumble again across the threshold. Under the sink, I reach for the vodka bottle praying I won’t confuse it with the ammonia nearby, as I had once before. Suddenly, I fall.
On my back again, appendages wiggling in the air, I know I am not who I think I am, unsure of who I might be, who I might become, who I was. It matters little. I am weary, sleepy. My eyes droop, then close. I experience a sensation of rocking, like I’m in a small boat pitched by cold waves. Not enough to swamp but enough to keep me half-awake. In the space between thought and dream, I struggle to rise. No use. The night continues to surge. Doze and wake, doze and wake, like a metronome.
Early morning sun splashes my face, but I dare not open my eyes. I still hope that sleep will come. And that I’d wake to a new day, a new me. Turning first one way, then another, I try to avoid the slash of sunlight torturing me. Again, all my efforts fail. I’m tempted to resign myself to fate, to give in, to give up, to hold my breath until I swallow my tongue. Is this punishment for how I wronged those I love?
Questions are useless. Answers don’t matter. I rock and rock with increased frenzy. Like a rocking horse winner.
Finally I flip. The boat is gone, the room is still. My appendages are bare, and I realize that I will need new shoes if I ever want to find my way.
Dance Hall of Gregor Samsa -- Frank Kortan