Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cracked Gold Painted Concrete Staircase

I am spending some time in an overlooked spot on the State campus.  It’s an ugly, industrial, cracked-gold painted concrete staircase on the west side of Tahoe hall.  The color yellow rules this landscape, from the walls to the ceiling to painted stairs.  This part of the staircase is covered, and a yellow light shines down on the steps.  Behind me sits a dying assortment of clay-potted flowers, drooping hopelessly from lack of hydration.  These flowers are dead, though not physically, but in their chance to live.  This place is cold.
But yellow can be alive as well.  Though it does not match the shade of this multilevel hallway, my faded yellow American Eagle cap is a definition of life to me.  Originally it was a somewhat new looking hat, with starch-stiff fabric and a hard bill.  Five years and fifty washes later, it droops like the dying flowers.   This is probably the only hat that has truly ever fit my head.  It seems like every time I buy a cap I like, as soon as I get it home and wash it the top lengthens about six inches so it feels like I’m wearing a ten gallon cowboy hat.  This soft and floppy, faded yellow hat has been with me through fun times, sad times, exciting times, and has sat on my head, holding in my brain while it is filled with knowledge.
This hallway is alive.  The dead flowers are only a matter of my perception.  Many may have overlooked them.  Living, breathing people have walked up and down these stairs.  The flowers were once alive, as was the cracked yellow paint of the stairwell.  All perception is a product of the individual; there is not any ugly, no wrong, only judgment and personal will.

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