Below is the beginning of a story I want to keep working on. At the moment it lacks plot, and is primarily an exploration of a world I would like to create (at least in my head) to try and envision what life could be like within my lifetime. It is an effort I began many years ago, and perhaps some of the heaviness of my description is symptomatic of how recently I had graduated from high school. I have many beginnings of writings in my closet of unfinished stories, but this one has always stuck with me. I think perhaps the episodic nature of this blog will provide a good opportunity to move the idea forward, as well as an incentive to really do the research this project merits. So here I present to you a brief concept sketch of a possible future.
April 2030. Maine. The old harbor street, carved by tides, slips beneath a wave as I watch, counting the boats in the new harbor. My left hand is deep in the pocket of my blowing skirt. In my right I hold a porcelain mug of peppermint tea. The breeze of the Atlantic whips my hair from my face as I peer at the noon horizon, waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for, but I trust it will come. Something always does. Less than a mile away, the church bell rings one o’clock. Time to return to work.
The cold, salty smell follows me with the wind all the way back to Chesham Street on my bike, where I tie up the old metal animal in front of a recently renovated theatre. My reflection in the double glass doors runs down to meet me as I hurry inside; then, having pressed lightly against my hands, turns and saunters up a translucent, tiled entryway through which the blind sidewalk glimmers.
Inside it is cool and dim. The empty seats crouch beneath the cavernous ceiling in rows like awkward pelicans. The new façade around the stage depicts ancient trees with animals jumping about in wild abandonment. Light comes from three skylights strategically positioned in the ceiling of the theatre which can be sealed completely for performances. These shafts spill elongated squares of dusty yellow into the aisles and across the back of the stage where a set of angled mirrors suffuse the room with a faint glow.
For now it is silent, and I pause to relish the sound before trailing down the left aisle and darting backstage. Passing a heap of old lighting equipment on its way to the recycling utility, several freshly painted flats and an enormous papier-mâché statue of some goddess, my skirts chase me down the stairs into the dressing rooms. Kicking my cotton hems with my ankles, I breeze through a small door into another world.
Or maybe it is not a possible future. What is coming from the ocean? What world is in the dressing room? These questions I hope to answer as I write. For now, I’ll take suggestions. Got ideas? There is only one condition, and that is hope.