Overnight it has turned into thick Summer. Clarissa closes the book ‘ The Sun also rises’ and leans back on the chair. Too much reading leaves her mind contracting and expanding like the mainspring of a clock. The sounds in the garden outside joins with the clock and the small noises of midday. She raises her first finger and lets it fall on the arm of her chair so as to bring back to herself some consciousness of her own existence. She leans deeper on to the soft cushion and her thought takes a different perspective.
What is life? It is only a light passing over the surface and vanishing, as in no time she would vanish though the furniture, the books, her writings would stay same. She sits perfectly still. It is too dense even to think. The huge mountain range through the glass window looks spectacular. Clarissa twists the brass knob of the door and walks outside to the right. A hiking trail towards the mountain.
She walks faster and faster until she reaches on the summit of a little hill. On a narrow turn she sinks down on to earth, clasping her knees together and looking blankly in front of her. A yellow butterfly which is opening and closing its deep blue wings very slowly on a little flat stone.Hypnotized by the wings of the butterfly she sits for some time longer. Life is beautiful, she agrees. She continues to walk until she reaches on the flat space on the top of the mountain. The extraordinarily beautiful forest has merged into mountains. The Colorado river down below runs across the plain as flat as the land. Clarissa looks around, then stands still. She shouts out a line of poetry but the words escape her and she stumbles among lines and fragments of lines which has no meaning at all except for the beauty of words.The sun is beginning to go down. Long thin clouds of flamingo red with edges like the edges of curled ostrich feathers lay up and down the sky at different altitudes.She runs down hill.
Inside the hotel room she sits with her chin on her hands, trying to remember the things she is supposed to do. It feels strange to be in a hotel by myself. May be I have taken off to write a book. If that is the case then I want to write a novel on Silence, the things people don’t say; their sorrows, difficulties, their nightmares. She sighs as she leans on her elbow and arranges the flowers in the glass vase. In front of her on the small oval mirror her reflection plays.She must be in her fifties. Who is she? What is she doing in a hotel in Colorado? What about her family? Clarissa opens her black hand bag, picks each stuff and checks them closely to find her identity. Nothing. She looks at her phone. So many names and so many numbers. She leans her head on her forearm.The phone rings.Clarissa startles. “Yes this is she. Who? O’, yes I will. I will text you the address.” She replies nervously touching the ring on her finger.
Early morning. Clarissa moves across the hall. Her thoughts spin into fragments. There are days when memories run away and hide, by the time she comes chasing after, they have wriggled off somewhere else to be another thing.With a hot cup of tea in her hand, she settles herself on a stool to play the piano in the lobby. Up and up the steep spiral of Beethoven sonata she climbs, like a person ascending a staircase energetically at first, then more laboriously advancing with her feet with effort.The front glass door opens and a gentleman walks in smiling warmly. He sits down on the chair close to Clarissa.“ How are you? Are you having a good time? I am here to take you home.” His voice is cheerful and loving.
Clarissa rocks with a happy rhythm as she tries to build a new body of memory.