a creative writing exercise..
‘Do you suppose, Chesh, that sometimes fish are people too?’
Alice threw another apple into the pond, gazing absently at the resulting microcosm of radiating waves.
She looked over at the Cheshire Cat, who had been asleep underneath a nearby tree for most of the afternoon.
‘And they say there’s no such thing as a stupid question..’, the cat yawned lazily, before promptly returning to what appeared to be an attempt to sleep soundly through the entire day.
Alice shrugged. It didn’t matter if no one was listening.
Picking up a nearby apple, she nibbled it as she continued her thought.
‘What I mean to say is…’, she said ‘do you wonder if fish sometimes wish to be someone else?’
‘It seems normal, when feeling awfully rotten, to wish you were somewhere else, or rather, some one else. For me anyway.’
She scrunched up her face as the strong memory of doing just such a thing swept over her..
‘But.. If I were somewhere else, I would still be myself, simply in a different place, and well, I don’t think that’s the problem in this case. As they say, wherever you go, there you are.’
She eyed the apple she was holding, inspecting it for rot, before hurling it violently into the pond, where it floated, bobbing about with the others.
‘So if I were to be someone else, I would most likely be somewhere else as well, otherwise there wouldn’t be much room where I am standing.’
She looked down thoughtfully, then took a step to the side, just in case.
‘Two pigeons on the other side of the fence’. She laid a finger alongside her nose knowingly.
‘That being the case, if I were to be someone else, it wouldn’t be very long before that someone was me anyway.’ She counted on her fingers, trying to work out how to calculate ‘instantaneously’.
‘Not veryyyy long, anyhow’. She scratched her nose.
‘And me, myself, as someone else, would, with my luck, be just as unhappy and just as likely to be someone who wishes they were someone else as well!
No, that just won’t do’.
She cast her eye over the fallen fruit, looking for a likely candidate.
‘I suppose, when you look at it contrarywise , it’s more a case of wishing not to be myself, or be anyone really, rather than wanting to be another me.
Is it such a preposterous proposition to ponder that a fish may well wish to be other than its own woeful watery self?’
She gathered a few of the ripest apples on offer.
“To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core…’, she quoted absently.
‘What if EVERYONE EVERYWHERE feels this way!?’. She her eyes unfocused, and she felt almost insulted by the notion.
‘What if all this time, not a soul has been happy being themselves, and JUST PRETENDING!’.
She stamped her foot! To imagine! The sheer nerve of them!
Her brow furrowed, she was down to the mystery now.
So…everyone that smiles, and says ‘as you please’, and tells you to behave, and not to rub apricot jam on your baby brother, why they just did it so that…that..so that you’d do the same!
She knew it!
‘It’s all a cabin-ski’ She announced uncertainty.
‘Regardless, if no one wants to be themselves, and it seems I was right about that, and everyone is all full up anyhow, no vacancies, then what am I to do’?
Alice sank to the ground and buried her hands in the cool soil, surrounded by apple trees and the buzzing of industrious bees.
‘I can’t stand it, Chesh’, her voice was barely a whisper. ‘The endless…me’.
Nothing is here that wants to be here. Nothing should be here.
I’m not particularly fond of anything I find, inside or out.
The world is like a washed out water painting, and the only things that bear upon me to take notice, oh, they hurt, Cat, they hurt so much’.
She blinked, then laughed, a bleeding, savage laugh.
‘I can’t even cry. There’s not even that now!’
She got up, two ripening weapons of choice in hand, and walked towards the pond.
‘I’m stuck inside myself, with nothing, not even hate! And surrounded by liars and fakers’.
‘HATE! FAKERS! LIARS!’
Then, ‘SPINACH!’, just for good measure.
She spun furiously, sliding the apple at the water, imagining it to be a rock that would smash into the surface.
‘Splosh’. It somewhat anticlimactically joined the rest.
Alice stood on the edge of the water, and stared at the moving trails of light sliding over the deep water.
She swayed slightly as she recited;
“…Like as the waves make towards the pebb’d shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before..”
‘Can’t be me. Can’t be not-me. Why be anything at all?’, Alice muttered to herself, mezmerized by the water.
”Oh Alice, look what you’ve done!”, they’ll say, and take my things away again…They took that mirror away soon enough, after things got bloody, but I kept telling them, it was HER, not me’.
‘I should just throw myself into the pond!’, she DECLARED,
‘Better to be nothing on purpose than nothing because of some STUPID COSMIC JOKE’, she shrieked!
She stared at the water, watching as it rocked gently back and forth, thinking it seemed calm and deep, somewhere she could sleep.
‘Well, on second thought’, she said, biting into her apple.
‘I’d better not disturb the fish. You never know if fish might be people too’.