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The Sight of Rainbows

August 19, 2010
File:Descartes Rainbow.png

Descartes' Rainbow

I saw their long legs, some too thin to look healthy, others more muscular and lean like the ones you see in biology textbooks. I’ve always liked the ones with dark brown eyes that soften with dark makeup; they seem so unadorned and mediocre. So wholesome.

As I passed the first photo shoot, I realized my right stiletto was too big. I kept sliding forward a few seconds after the left foot, but managed to correct the issue as I met their gaze. I squeezed my foot to grip the heel and glided past them the way I knew I could. Some of the models smiled. Some didn’t notice me at all.

It was almost six o’clock. Avenue D was lined with dozens of empty condos and fake cobbled streets. The artificial sun was a cluster of tripods with adjoined front lights, sidelights and reflectors. It was where we could see the blooming faces of fashion, summer’s newest bikinis, and master the fluid maneuvers of the human woman.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the brunette in the denim swimsuit. She seemed more mechanical than the rest. I studied her hands and spotted little scars across her wrist. Very recent. I never understood those inclinations. If my skin wasn’t synthetic, but pure and fleshy with pink undertone like hers, I wouldn’t dream of harming it. I passed her without a smile and continued to slide the over-sized stiletto across the avenue until I reached my quiet neighborhood.

The apartment was just as I’d left it. Vacant except for the boxes stacked in the corner. My whole existence in two packages filled with tools, some clothes and shoes, and magazines. In those three years I’d moved more times than I could remember.

I sat in front of the mirror and conducted the daily examination. The skin on my face was firm. The color on my lips unfading. The braids in my hair were loose. But upon a closer inspection I noticed the corner of my eye was leaking a golden liquid; it seeped like honey down my cheek and came to an abrupt halt. Its thickness seemed to prevent the full journey down my jaw.

No matter how many times I stared at my face in this shabby mirror, waiting for the tears, they never fell. It was like a terrible attempt at human emotion, a half cry, half pleading.

Perhaps these eyes were ephemeral like the other sets I purchased. They lasted longer, almost a month, but these were my favorite. Brown like jungle bark.

I removed the right eye and watched the rest of the sap flow out of the socket. I reached for the spade and began chipping at the accumulated rust. It fell nicely into my hands. I filled the socket with ointment pushing it deeper with my finger until I felt a coolness throughout. The left eye followed every gesture, making certain the procedure was done correctly. I pushed my eye back into place and waited for the revolving mechanisms to cease. A repeat performance for the left eye, just in case.

With my newly cleaned eyes I looked out the window and caught a spectrum of light shaped into an arc descending behind the adjacent building. Red, yellow, orange and other colors rested above one another. As I studied the multicolored arc I wondered whether it was the rust in my eyes that had prevented me from seeing these optical wonders.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 11:06 am

    wonderful & wild. Yr. prose is spectacular and the drawing that you’re using is so good I’m thinking of stealing it.
    thanx again for yr phantasmagoria.

    • Wendy permalink*
      August 18, 2010 12:57 pm

      Hey G.R., thanks. I thought the picture was appropriate for the story. Feel free to “steal” it!

  2. August 20, 2010 3:55 pm

    Vivid, Wendy, very sharply drawn images. An engaging persona, artificial or not, and a curiously satisfying conceit: “rust” (age? habits?) preventing her from seeing something truly beautiful.

    Even a bit of mystery: the oddly wrong-sized stiletto. This little story got my imagination buzzing.

    • Wendy permalink*
      August 24, 2010 8:21 am

      I’m glad you found her engaging-I thought it would interesting to see the human woman through the eyes of an artificial entity. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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