This is what happens when you are not paying attention. When you are entirely in your head, which happens to be up your ass.
There is no real reason or excuse to so thoroughly isolate yourself from others. The walls of your cage have flexibility. There are windows and doors. There is resistance to using them. You sit at your computer; another window. Your cell phone is always at hand throughout all of your waking hours. It sleeps next to you while your body sleeps.
Yet, all of those options readily disappear when
It takes time for awareness beyond the self to arrive.
You’ve left the bed, the computer, your room, as you travel through your cage. Streams of light particles glimmer around the sides of the drawn shades of the windows you walk by. The light is diffused, filtered so it does not flood the rooms.
But, not all of it. Not enough to keep the outside completely outside. The sunlight finds its way in. It hits the closed aluminum slats at a moving angle as it rises and passes overhead. The light pushes you into the bottled-up kitchen.
The tea kettle you had set begins to whistle. It is building up in shrillness until the steam screams. Turning off the burner, you pour the boiled water into the mug you’ve already set up with sweetener and a bag of tea. It seeps as you leave the kitchen, cup in hand.
Your hands are warm. The initial burning sensation you felt has lessened to a more comfortable feel. Sipping the tea, your feet lead you into the living room. The eyes flit to the windows, an aura of brightness around its edges. Walking closer, you notice the dust particles that dance in the sunlight. One hand drifts forward, fingers playing with the motes as you find the cord, pull, and raise the blinds.
Intense reflected light assaults the senses. The eyes adjust.
Ice is everywhere.
Across the road, the trees are encased in ice, from the very top to the outermost ends of its branches. The trunks shine to the frosted ground. Icicles of various lengths and widths hang from the limbs. Nothing drips, yet.
Movement to the left draws your attention. A tree squirrel leaped from a high branch onto a power line that still connects the buildings and houses. It, too, is bound in ice and icicles. As it skates along the wire, the first icicles plummet. The squirrel scampers away out of sight. The ice remains.
You had only thought of taking a look outside. The ice has held you there. The panorama before you draws your attention, from trees to squirrel to frozen lawns to cars cloaked in their icy covers. The ice has enveloped all; it has created a tableau of a winter day that is waiting for the activation cue.
It fascinates. Its glitter suffuses you. It satisfies in its purity.
Finishing the now cold tea, you leave the mug in the sink. Washing it is for later.
You dress. The winter boots laced up snugly. You grab your parka, hat, and gloves. Before you unlock the front door, you go back for one last item. A long multicolored wool scarf gets wrapped around your neck.
This is what happens when you pay attention.
When you realize you’ve encased yourself in nothing tangible. When your head takes a peek out of your ass.
Keys in hand, the door to your cell is unlocked. You journey into the world.
The ice is already thawing.