Time Stands Still

You are everywhere

and all at once

but not at once

because

time isn't a factor

when it comes to you

Melt

Air in. Air out.

    Breathe in. Breathe out. Do you feel it? The vibrations? The silence? You must. You pull headphones over your head and pull yourself into a new arena of environment. It’s the buzz right before the first beat hits. And then it hits. And you open your eyes. And the sun hits.

    And it burns. Like a sunburn.

    It comforts you. Like actually comforts you. Have you ever been comforted by the sun before?

    The city roams in silence around you. They circle like lions and you are their prey. You are a vermin to the city and it will try to exterminate you. You just watch. You just wait. You will see.

    And you stretch your arms out. Not for someone to snatch you away. No one touches you. The city finds you venomous. No one touches you. They don’t even stare. Don’t care to look past the trees and the fountain and the white arc.

    With a twist of your foot you twirl to the beat. You feel the cement scuff your sneaker and you feel the chill of a cloud overhead. And your fingers dance in the hot air. You feel the heat soak through to your hot skin. And your skin cries all the way through to the fabric.

    Because so suddenly the hot star is back. It is the only thing for miles that wants to get to you. And it resides far far far from the city. The sun does not discriminate.

    It loves everyone. It loves everyone a little too much. Be wary of its comforting suffocation. Of its light toasting.

    But most of all it loves you. And you’re opening and closing your windows out and in comes the sun out goes the light in comes the sun out goes the light.

    You let yourself fall into the music almost as effortlessly as you will let yourself fall into the city. Out goes your left hand, twist your right foot, shimmy to the left and hop to the right.

    You take it in. You take it in to the the beat of the the music.

    You melt.

excerpt from the short story

HER

You feel it before you can see it. The clouds create a haze around the buzz that seeps from the Shake Shack doors to the frame safeguarding the Starry Night. And after the wispy clouds evaporate in front of you, you’d find lines of yellow that criss and cross to create a textile of life. The city buzzes. The whole thing hums. Like how you can feel an earthquake before your mind informs you that it’s happening. The city’s an earthquake. It shakes you until you’re turned upside. It makes the insecure secure and the unoccupied busy—bustling and hustling—...

Avi Jayne 2018