Down the Stairs

This is about me. This is about me. This is about me. Sometimes I wonder how can I be in such a dark place that is so filled with light. I open my eyes. Wash my face. Brush my teeth. Check the weather on my high-powered, overpriced cell phone. Change my clothes. Put on my shoes. And start my day.

The walk begins at the top of a stairwell; the steps are short, wooden, and steep.  If you look from the top you can see the origin. The spiral starts as all spirals do, a small dot, which gets wider and longer, it elevates and rises until it reaches a 3rd level then gets cut short by an eager white wall. As I walk down the stairs, my boots make an obvious shoe sound, like something right out of a Scooby-Doo sound track. So this is where the sound comes from. I hear so many noises that are apart of everyday life I don’t realize that they are something. Something important, something missed when gone, or at least acknowledged. My hand glides along the wall opposite of the stair rail. The rail is on the left when descending. When going down, it’s like the stairs don’t think I need the help, “just tumble down, you’ll make It.”. But when coming up, my right grasps for the rail. Following the spiral directs me to the ground floor. The stairs lead me to the door; two forward steps and I could be outside. To not walk through the door, to make a sharp turn, feels so unnatural after allowing gravity to pull me down the steps with no rail. All that separates me from the outside world is a white painted wooden door with 9 glass panels. These panels make me pause. One allows me to watch through it. People waiting. That’s what happens at intersections and crosswalks: people wait. Our traffic system forces people to pause. I watch as joggers, late-to-class students, little bus riders and their dad, and cars come to a full stop at the intersection and inside, I can’t help but pause. And then go with the glowing white, walking figure urging us to move. The yellow school bus comes. The father, who previously was checking his watch and then checking the road at 30-second intervals, sighs a sigh of relief. He gently pushes his kids on board, stands and waves as the bus goes out of sight. His smile doesn’t waver as he waves.  I open the door and feel the air for the first time. Humid, the way I like it. I take my first step towards class.