I was walking through the night streets not the day ones, looking at the houses when it happened. Aquarium Syndrome. Only does this happen in between time zones. Never normal hours. Never full hours with precise times and places to match. When it should be eleven, but maybe it’s more like four. One step. Two steps. Car horn trumpets. Late night music illuminated by that weird glow I can see echoing down the pavement. Down and around the block. Just hanging out on a stretch of good intention that I could barely run with. Not tonight.
The brightness just gets fainter. Eyes half mast and I’m starting to feel control. I could walk this walk all night. Looping around and around stray corners. I could walk through brick.
My shoes are crawling onto my eyelashes, pulling my lids further. Down and behind. I refuse to stop walking. I can’t stop now. Only one more stair to go. Stretching over my entire body. Only one more level until I see the sting rays. Peeling over the back of me. Who wants to see only gold fish from the first level?
It’s dark inside. shapes and light flicker from the other side but their fuzzy. Thin air elevation. I like this feelnig. I want to be in the wind when there’s no sky.
Buildings lean against each other, windows stuck up. Gwawking. They wait, gap toothed with empty pains. Why are they screeching when the paint is still there? Cinder block eyes, lining cracks. I should be afraid of those buildings. They try to be houses. Posing. Sleepless and stuck gaping with stooped smiles.
Come on. Don’t you want to see the sharks? The second level is only sting rays- only one more stair until the next one. My feet keep walking.
2-3-4 in the morning. Sleep isn’t even a concern anymore. I’ve got to get past those buildings, they just keep coming. I want to go. Fingers slightly splayed. Strayed. Stayed and stretching out from my hand into a curl. Hello buildings. They don’t say anything, they keep staring. The street light is still on- it’s okay. The building smiles. Don’t you want to see the top?
The top. That seems so familiar. Wracking empty corners of a poorly lit head for vague memories. I know what happens here- but what is it? A car goes by in the distance. I know this. There is a yellow line somewhere in the middle. I know this too. It’s all a distraction from what’s really going on. I just need just a little more time to concentrate. Just a few more hours.
The top. Past the other fish. Up. Up. Up. The color is just blue, but it feels so much like white that I know it has to be. It is white. That is why I don’t like aqauariums. They lie about the most basic of colors. Plastered with the fish that can’t talk but have been there forever. Forever. They move slowly with clinging water molecules. Weighing. Down. Every. Little. Thing. With the quiet of dark buildings. Staring through me. Past my eye lids and right into the back of my head.
Shit. I don’t want to go to the top of the aquarium.