Chiaroscuro and the Hamsa

I shifted from deep sleep and heard the clock ticking on the wall. I had taken that clock away from the room several times, but somebody continued bringing it back. It struck seven. Great. Now I would have to wake up, because my alarm would go off. It didn’t. Since I was already awake, I opened my eyes, and they didn’t open. Or at least I thought they didn’t. I had felt my eyelids rise, but the world had become colourless and dark. ”She’s awake”, somebody said. ”Go get the doctor!” The voice was familiar. The name was on the tip of my tongue, but the thought kept slipping from my grasp. Somebody left the room. I heard the door go. Some minutes passed. The room was filled with the ticking of the clock and the breathing of this person next to me.

After some time the door moves once more. I can hear footsteps. Two pairs. The door bangs shut and I am startled. Somebody apologizes to me. They use a name unfamiliar to me. Who am I? I finally dare ask myself, and I don’t know. ”Miss”, a man’s voice says one more time, and I respond by looking into the direction of the voice. I don’t think I know how to form the sounds they are making. ”My name is Jean Auger”, the man says, ”I am your optometrist.” Fancy word I don’t recognize. Or I think I don’t. I nod. I hope they saw it. They saw it. ”Miss…” They use that name again. ”You have…” I stop listening and turn my head. Do I really want to know?

They all leave, because the doctor said they should. He said it was for the best, that I clearly didn’t want to meet them. I don’t care. I don’t know who they were. I guess they were supposed to be friends and family. Do I have family? Friends? That’s who they must’ve been. This is not my room. That’s not the same clock. There are more voices than the ticking. There is the humming of many machines that makes my ears hurt. I turn my head around, but it all looks the same. Only the voices change telling me of the space I’m in.

I am paralyzed.

No sunlight, redness of the autumn trees, green of the summer plains, white of the winter snow. They are all memories.

Time will cure my wounds. And now I can imagine my life. I can be anyone I want, what color I want, what creature I want. I can finally follow my dream, and go back in time to the medieval times, antiquity. I can see the Mayans in their bloody rites, the building of the pyramids, the death of millions of people during the Black Death, and not be a part of it.

The sorrow fills me. My bones feel as heavy as lead. A shadow grows over my fairy tale world. Is this life?

Chiaroscuro is the sharp contrast between light and darkness in renaissance paintings.

The Hamsa is the Arabic symbol of protection against the Evil Eye.

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