Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 189

He blinked his eyes and squinted, trying to focus. He saw that the TV was on. A bright rectangular light encased in a box, he thought. An image coffin where images are buried until their re-run resurrections.

A sitcom was on.

He stared at the TV and thought that he could detect thin, horizontal lines of fire – no, not fire – lines of electrical energy, pulsating on the screen. He had never before been so aware of the lines, which were now so apparent, so distracting, that they easily diverted his attention from the dead images of the sitcom. What were these lines? He wondered. What were they made of? Electricity?

He heard her call out, do you want some dinner?

He looked toward the kitchen and saw her quizzical face peeking out from the doorframe. Her head seemed to float unsupported, separated from her body. Yet her expression was perfectly normal – nothing at all out of the ordinary. This paradox startled him and he began to wonder why they were having such difficulty communicating.

Yes, he answered, that would be nice.

He closed his eyes and leaned back. He felt the solid, cushioned arms of his chair and squeezed with both hands. He clenched his eyes shut, and doing so, he saw the bright after-images of the horizontal lines inscribed and pulsating on the backs of his eyelids. Electrical lines.

She took a chair across the room. She picked up a magazine.

We have a new system at work, she said without looking up from the magazine.

He opened his eyes and looked at her. System? He puzzled silently to himself.

Oh? He said.