She cast a dark look and words rolled off her tongue like careless fish splashing into oblivion I switched off the voice from the television and moved into the kitchen to make some tea. The world had messages written on the window above the kitchen sink. It sharpened its tongue upon its blunt subjects until they were dull flames. They waited on the floor for the day the wind would catch them and ignite them into the air in splendid sparks. It took a lifetime on the floor to finally ask myself what I believed. Until then my relationship with the world was debilitating. I scarcely had an ounce of energy for anything. I couldn’t look at the world without remembering how it had let me fall. I more than hoped I wouldn’t exist. Then I met Mia. I took her as a good sign.
It was a gentle October evening. The air was crisp and a little cold. I saw Mia’s raven black hair between railings of clothes. Her skin was like bone ivory and her eyes glittered. She looked at me as intently as a bird. We chatted and she showed me some of her purchases. A title stared back at me.
“Angels of the lost world”, Mia said she’d read it before but liked to collect different versions. She could see my interest by my close examination of the blurb written on the back.
“You can have it”, she said. “Thanks”, I smiled and grasped my new found treasure. We drifted onto the street and Mia began to expound on the synopsis of the story I read.
“So it’s about this boy called Yakatsuma who lives in Tokyo which is the lost world and how he collects objects that lead him to angels. He’s like that artist Kurt Schwitters who made collages out of random objects and trash he found. So what we see is his diary and how all of the objects interconnect and are all angels in a way that gave him a place in the world.”
Mia could tell that I was thrilled by that description and brought me back to her attic apartment to have some tea and show me her favourite passage of the book.
We climbed a long narrow spiral staircase. The room opened out onto a large window flooded with light and views of the river and the city. Mia went to the bookshelf in the centre of the room. I looked along the shelf to see that she had at least ten copies of the book. She pulled out a soft paper back and found the marker she had left in it.
“It’s this page”, she pointed.
“I’ll make the tea.”
I sat on her couch and Mia disappeared into the alcove of the kitchen at the far end of the room. I looked at the illustration on the front of the book. It was a picture of a large forest with a boy who looked tiny against it and appeared to be holding a feather. I noted the difference to the hardback Mia had given me. It was a light blue colour with the dark blue print of a feather.
There was a place written on top of the page. It said “Akihabara Station”. I rushed to see what the last line read at the end of the book before Mia returned with the tea. It simply read “I want to exist in your eyes”.
Dedicated to Hyun Su.
Lena O’ Connell
Lena O’ Connell graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2009. She is a qualified art teacher.