Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron


It’s a Friday night, once again.  I’m on the corner of 26th and Main once again, watching the drunks stagger by, laughing at nothing in particular.  I’ve been here for a while.  Quite a while.  I believe it will be fifteen years this next Tuesday.

I am a streetlight.  I was erected fifteen years ago next Tuesday in order to shed light upon the sketchy doings of this small town.  I hate my job.  I could have been anything, and they made me a streetlight? What kind of a life is that supposed to give me?  I get vomited and urinated on by humans and other animals alike.  None of them show any respect for my long-suffering.

When my light was first released into my neighborhood, I was filled with enthusiasm. I spent my days joyfully illuminating the lives around me. Some are inspiring–the ones who drop dollars or pennies into outstretched hands, the ones who buy a meal for a hungry person, the ones who smile and laugh and encourage each other.  These were the ones I wanted to imitate, so I shone my light on the others, the ones who needed it, the ones who prefer the darkness.

Now, things are different.  I’ve gotten tired of the light.  I’m always shining, always brightening someone’s day.  You’d think it would make me happy, as it once did.  But no, I’m curious about the darkness.  When all I’ve learned is light, I wonder about the shades of darkness that make up the other world that I will never know.  So I’ve decided I’m going to take matters into my own hands.  I’m going to explore the world.

It’s a Friday night, once again, but this time I will not stay on the corner of 26th and Main.  I know how I will plan my escape, for it has happened this way before.  Someone in a drunken brawl will come out, become angry at the light I shine into his eyes, and smash me.  I will land on his jacket and make my escape.

It happens just as I expect.  I shine my light as brightly as I can into the eyes of everyone who comes out of the nearest bar until one man finally grows angry and smashes it.  I feel the pieces of my eye clatter to the ground, and I latch on to the nearest shoe that tries to skirt past me.  We travel together.

I have felt the wind against my solid frame before, but always I stayed in the same place.  Moving up and down with the uneven step of my carrier, I try to soak in the variety of colors, voices, and sounds that appear for a brief moment before vanishing into another place.  I am not used to places.  At first I am excited, but soon the excitement is replaced with discomfort.

It’s a Friday night, and I am a traveler.  The world passes by me at the hurried pace of a man in a rush to get home to his family.  I’ve often wondered what it must be like to be human and travel.  Now I think it’s overrated.  Movement makes me feel sick.  I don’t have time to become acquainted with my surroundings before they are yanked from my presence.  I decide I’ve had enough.  I let go of the shoe and clatter to the solid ground.  It is dark; I no longer am able to give off light, but I am happy.


March 13, 2011 - Posted by | flash fiction, writings | , ,

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