THE DUST THAT FALLS AND WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL
I am six. Maybe even seven or eight. Mama often reminds me, but what I am, I cannot remember. For me, the difference between one and one hundred is simply nothing. Ten is just one hundred with a missing circle, and six, seven, and eight are approximately the same age. I do not know that others do not feel the same way. And it does not matter to me, at least not now.
It is a cool morning. Someone has kept the fan on. The air already says that the day may be very hot. I hear that it could be wet later. But I am not really thinking about these maybes. I simply feel them as if they were there, and I feel more things than I notice. I do notice that the morning is cool and that the fan is on. Yet that’s all: it doesn’t occur to me that I should feel bothered.
My Mama is not here with me. I don’t know why she feels far away. And my Baba, I do not even think of him. But that is only because I know he is much farther. The difference is just this: whereas I am in the big M, Mama stays at the village and Baba waits from across the world. We will probably return to him someday.
Right now, I am listening to how the fan spins. It is cycling over many small breaths, and it seems that it will go on forever. In these two, I think that I am the same. I am lying on the floor over a thin mat of sheets. I didn’t put them there just as I didn’t put myself here. I can remember nothing that would explain either. Here, my Lola’s presence looms. It was she who had brought me to the city. Yet I do not sense her arched body or her tough feet. And Lola moves like she is haggling all the time, roughly and in hasty gestures. Still, nothing stirs in the house.
I lie in a great wooded room. It is great because although the floor span is average, the ceilings are very high. The wood panels point upwards rather than sideways. This probably adds to the impression. I do not know how but I feel that I am elevated. Steps must be behind the crown of my head. I do not look to check.
Aside from the sound of our breaths, it is silent. I am still listening to the small floor fan. Maybe it listens to me too. I can’t tell, but my smaller sister might be beside me. I never know with her. Sometimes she is the closest to me and other times she becomes the farthest away. Today, I think she is with Mama. By now, I am used to how she is. All this means is that I could very well be alone. I am not bothered. I do not look to check.
Above me, there is a great window, high and rectangular. It sits on the wall opposite to my feet, which point upwards. This probably adds to the impression. Where I am, there is light out, and it is through the window that it enters to be beside me. It settles on my face and rests above my heart. It is a light that is full and pale yellow, a light that is the crown of morning.
I am looking at this light now as I have been since I woke. There is no need to look elsewhere or to notice any other thing. It is not just the light that holds me. All around, there is always dust falling. And there, in the light above my eyes, it dances lighter than light itself. I am watching this with a kind of care I have never known. I do not know how but my floating specks of angel make every difference in the world. Most of all, they fall everywhere. Our distance will be nothing, like the space between one and one hundred.
I lay on the floor of a great wooded room where I watch the light of a great window. Before it, falls dust. The dust that falls is my whole morning. This whole morning feels like my whole life. And my whole life, I think will take me through the lengths of forever. The fan spins still. I hear it. I am six. It is the first time I know what is beautiful.