SOLITAIRE By: Laura Winton

She sat in front of the computer while words ran in a steady stream through her head like a teletype reporting news or stock quotes.  Stories, anecdotes, metaphors, whole poems would pass through while she sat impassive, as if refusing to swat at a swarm of buzzing flies.  She sat still, moving only her wrist and forearm, wordlessly placing cards on cards on the screen.

Every once in a while it occurred to her that she might not always have this luxury.  The tingling in her fingertips reminded her that she might someday become physically unable to write her thoughts down, leaving her opus incomplete, not at all expressive of what was inside of her.  She continued to move cards on the blue and white screen and wondered if maybe she was already preparing for this time, so that when the words passed by her and she was unable to catch them, it would not bother her so much.  She would content herself with Facebook and television, or whatever came after those things.  The loss of her words to a visual screen would not bother her, as she would have solace through other channels.

She remembered stories of Salvador Dali, the great painter, trying to conjure death after his body could no longer create, when his arms could not push a brush around on a canvas.  Surely he had never let a picture, a thought, or a tiny moment escape him, and now these buzzing flies taunted him, waiting for his body to offer itself to them the way they had already devoured his art.  There was no solace for Dali.  Nothing could take the place of his painting.

Black eight.  Red seven.  The words buzzed louder around her head and she finally swatted, insisting just one more game.

Leave a Reply