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***BIO*** Chris East is 25 and lives in the middle of England.  He draws, writes and makes music but also works a job in a theatre box office.  http://latenighttaxidriverbadminton.blogspot.com
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Universe
by Chris East
1.
Itís dark and Iím sitting on my own again. Itís only 4pm but thatís when it turns dark now that the clocks have been set back an hour. Daylight Savings Time. I look out of the window and see the little girl in the house across the street standing on her windowsill. She is stood with her palms against the glass, and with the floral bedroom curtain wrapped around her she looks like a miniature pink and purple nun pleading with god. Her bedroom is glowing with green light from a television. She can see me and I can see her and I can see that she sees me. I hear her voice in my head.

     -- What do you want?
     -- I was wondering what your name is little girl and why you are always standing in the window?
     -- My name is Simone and I can see the whole universe from my window.
    -- Can I ask, what colour is the universe?
     -- The universe is mostly a bright yellow with red swelling patches that appear in the corners of my vision,but that is not so important. Anyway.

I like it when people end their sentences and paragraphs with the word Ďanywayí.
She turns her head away from the window. Someone is calling her from inside the house and I can see her mouth move in a shout. She jumps down from the window still tangled in the curtain and disappears from view. The green glow flashes brightest and then stops. I turn my light on and draw a picture of a monster made of straw.



2.
At night I am in bed in a sleeping bag and a heavy jumper and blue jeans because it is cold. I do not like or use central heating. It causes asthma and makes me have headaches and turns my eyes red. In my brain I can hear the little girlís voice whispering like a draught.
    
     -- Can you see the universe yet?

She knows that I canít. She is taunting me. I go to my window and stare out. First at the sky, at the          rooftops, then at the ground below.

     -- Itís yellow. Canít you see it? Look harder.

I just want her to leave me alone and let me concentrate. If I try hard enough I just know that I can make the colours appear but I cannot try if the little girl is forever talking in my head.

     -- Stop it. I'm trying. Just let me try. I want to see the colours and everything but I can't because you won't give me any peace.
     -- Ok. You only had to ask.
     -- Please.
     -- You are a wimp.
     -- Please. Just go away. Ok? Go. Leave me alone.

3.
Weeks pass and I do not see the universe. Weeks pass and I do not hear the little girl again either.
I look out of my window and into hers. She is standing there as usual and can see me also but now she never speaks to me. I try every night and every spare moment I have to look out and see the universe but it will not appear for me.

I am in the universe.

Maybe because I am in it, that means I cannot see it. Or maybe it is because I want to see it, and maybe if I was more aloof it would show itself. It bothers me that the universe can be so elusive. What does the girl have that I do not? Why has it chosen her over me?

I tell the universe that I love it. I tell the universe that I care for it and that I would just wish it would open up to me. I am praying with my eyes an inch from the window pane.

     -- Universe, I just want you to know, Iím a pretty good guy, and if you chose to come out and let me see what colours you have you can be certain that I will treat you with all the reverence and                     respect that I hold in my body. I am giving you everything and all I need and want is a glimpse. I               could never do anything to hurt you.

Nothing. I am going mad I think.

4.
I hate the little girl now. She is at her window looking out at the sky with her stupid dressing gown and stupid fucking curtains and that stupid look on her face. She is so pleased with herself. I want for the glass to suddenly disappear and for her to fall out through the empty window frame and land on the road below. She would lie there, bruised but not broken, and the universe could look down on her and the universe would think she was pathetic and stupid for having fallen and she would be ashamed and I would see all of this from my own window. The girl will stop appearing in her window because her parents will say it is too dangerous and the glass might vanish again and anyway she would have nothing to stand there for because the universe would no longer have any interest in her now she has embarrassed herself.

I have painted my bedroom in the last few days. It is yellow now and the corners are painted red. Just the very corners, 3 red triangles in each corner, meeting at a point. I think this is what the little girl meant. I am calmer now when I sit in this room and I can sometimes not think about the little girl. Simone. I still think about the universe and how happy we could have been. Now I have my own universe instead. A small square universe where all my stuff is.
April 2009
116