Paige wasn’t of this world. Sufficed to say, she still had to visit. The row houses, closer to the city, were sleepless. Tightly smashed together their façade faced a hectic roadway.
Wide boarded, full porches were painted heavy. Each step bemoaned turn-of-the-century longing. The air’s stale breath was of pipe and whiskey. Inside, walls were damp and musty darkness hung long in the drapes. It dripped into her lungs.
Paige’s smallness was forced to hide. She retreated to the only place feasible; a sliced out pantry.
Mouse droppings littered the shelves. Food spilled on the floor. She left naïve shoe prints in the rancidness.
From her perch she studied and witnessed more. Mice eaten mattresses leaned against stained walls. The smoke’s thick air clinked with heavy amber fluid filled glasses; it made voices grow louder as obscenities struck inner ear’s delicate chords.
Quivering deeper, where veins can see, Paige squinted to dim and became inner stories — ones of pure greens and blues. Wide and far and fresh. Sandy beaches left footprints and waves renewed. Sailboats never sailed before, became a thing of ease. Paragliding dolphins and funnel cake rafts became ordinary.
She could no longer see the congealed jar of dead saved fats and flies crawling on pasta flanked tea towels. Paige escaped higher through mind’s spiraled stairs. No one missed her in the din of violent card games. She pulled her pale socks closer and rocked safely through hammock clouds; her inordinate daydreams saved her from this weary world of now.