- Vol. 04
- Chapter 03
Image by Manon Bellet
Cooler TonesCoping today, with the pile up of Japanese prints in the corner.
Layered up as high as the desk, it was a surprise they hadn't toppled already. Li. stood, at midday on a Monday, with a shoulder rested on the cool metal window frame, and the view they'd gotten used to; the extravagant size of the double glazing meant the sun bathed the square room easily, leaving everything clean, bright and matte. The overall affect was a heightening of the ears - the noise of a scratchy pen, typing, the fumbling-clunking of ice cubes against the thick glasses he drank out of; they all cut through the room.
Walking over to the pile (as said, he was coping today, with a pile of paper) he knelt on both knees. Bare-footed, his toenails caught on the thin wires of the carpet; he set the glass down on its bristle surface, with a quick thought of their conflicting textures, before reaching to feel the ruffled fibres of the paper edges.
They seemed to fit into the room, and at the same time they didn’t fit at all. He’d brought them from home, along with the plant, which had died from not enough light. He’d puzzled for ages, usually before falling asleep: how could there not be enough light when the sun was around for most of the day time? Then he remembered, yes - it was there, but he spent a lot of time with the blind pulled down to just the right angle to shield his laptop screen; the same angle, by coincidence, had shielded the plant as well.
Well, at least the paper sat in the corner couldn’t die. He supposed he must be better at dealing with plants in their later stages, glad that the pressed bark and plant roughage were stiff, and no longer reliant on the sun or light; and the prints required nothing more from it than for the revealing of their colour lines and drawings.
Cooler TonesCarefully, he prised the pieces apart, sorting them slowly, occasionally studying their subject for longer than the previous one.
The colour was what he was really watching - he’d tried to do this earlier by tilting his head, and looking at the profile of the pile side on; this way you couldn’t see the full surface of the images, but a thin, shaky line of their colour was lit along each edge, forming a graph of threaded greens, yellows, and oranges, along with interjections of cooler tones - but the dark line wasn't there.
Finally he came to it, the page that was dyed a block; it had shifted slightly too far back for the black rim to be seen from side view, hidden amidst the colourful drawings and inscriptions waiting to be posted.
On it, he read:
“What’s the name of the person you’re sending it to?
They must love that shade; light blue, really.
are you going to put shoes on before you come downstairs?”