Music and Text by Matt Marks
Once upon a time there was a little man in a little house, with only one thought in his head:
How to get out?
How to get out?
How to get out?
Once upon a time there was a little woman in a big world, with only one thought in her head:
How to get in?
How to get in?
How to get in?
So they both turned on their TVs–his on the inside of the house and hers on the outside of the house. He saw her staring in and she saw him staring out.
It very quickly became their favorite TV show of all time, each of them watching the other watch themselves: Her in a lawnchair and him in a recliner; silent, placid, alert, patient.
Commercials were few and far between, and usually subtle, but effective: an errant eye flutter reminded her to visit the drugstore for some eye drops, a faint stomach rumble made him think of ordering delivery from down the street.
No doubt the strangest commercial was the one in which they each found themselves breathing in unison with the other.
They weren’t quite sure just when it started. Perhaps they had been breathing together for several minutes by the time they grew aware of it. But once they were, they found it impossible to stop.
She felt somewhat convinced that it was him following her, and he felt likewise that her breath was likely coordinated with his own.
They each tried slowing their breath slightly, and later quickening it–just a bit–yet the other person followed as easily as if it were their own breath. They were both rather perplexed by this, but there was far more confusion in its interpretation: just what exactly was this commercial for?
The rhythm made the man think of rotating wheels, so he thought it might be for a delivery service. But there were simply too many options for him to narrow it down. The combined sound of their two breaths made the woman think of music, so she considered purchasing some. But she could not think of anything so slow and peaceful as this.
She soon became fixated on their combined breath and, without realizing how it had come about, she noticed that their breaths had slowly drifted apart, phased, so that her in-breath was aligned with his out-breath, and vice versa.
The man, belatedly noticing the same thing, began drifting his associations away from that of an ever-rotating wheel to that of a constantly droning air conditioner. He considered for a moment that it might actually be a commercial for an air conditioner, but he realized that it couldn’t possibly, as his own was perfectly functional in the other room.
Eventually they found themselves losing track of the ebb and flow of their own breaths, in favor of the cumulative plateau of their combined breath, purring solid and constant.
They listened to it as one might listen to the dull roar of rushing blood in their eardrums: calmly mindful of it, yet vaguely haunted by it.
They lost all physical sensation of breath and just focused on the invisible cloud that seemed to hover between them, emanating from his mouth to her image on his TV, and from hers to his on hers.
Gradually the cloud seemed to become less invisible.
The rippling warm glow of the other’s image on the screen seemed to infect the breath stream with its saturated colors.
They stared wide-eyed, watching the tendrils of colored light navigating their way up the breath stream.
Little threads, worming their ways from the glowing face of the other on the screen, towards their own face, staring into the other’s eyes.
Their eyes seemed to be a source of gravity for the groping wisps of color.
As the colored light curled and spiraled towards each pair of eyes–his on the inside of the house, and her on the outside of the house–it illuminated the nearby motes of dust that hung in the air: those inside flaming like tiny suns in the dim haze of the living room; the ones outside, brilliant showers of flint-sparks in the sunlight of the yard.
The newly created path between the two of them was a luminescent mist of glints and streams, points and lines; pathways, extending from their televisual gateway towards each pair of eyes, pulling, exploding microscopic blasts of color along their way, reaching away from their TV sets, reaching, until finally the threads of light reach their goal, and the pathway is complete, so that the weaving of light may begin, threaded from one pair of eyes to the other, and back again, and back again…
The first thing to change was the eyes.
The iris, drinking in the color from the light stream: hers turned a darker shade, and his turned lighter.
Next, the pigment in their faces altered, slightly: his turning darker, and hers, lighter.
Similarly, their respective heads of hair shifted hues a bit: hers darkened, and his lightened.
The pathways of light streamed color, from one to the other, trading tones of all shades.
At a certain point an equilibrium of the spectrum was reached for a moment and, if one could have viewed the scene in perfect two dimensional profile, they’d have seen two matching silhouettes facing each other: one in a lawn chair and one in a recliner, their colors perfected balanced on each end of the light stream.
Color continued to seep from one to the other, and their respective shapes began to alter as well–gradually–until it appeared that the man sat outside in the lawn chair, and the woman sat inside in the recliner.
The light bled from eyes to eyes, pulling everything into the television and out the other side: color, shape, organs, thought, blood, emotion, chemistry, sense…
A small ant crawled up the ankle of a person seated comfortably, staring into a screen full of luscious colors and flickering light.
The ankle didn’t move, seemed not to noticed the ant tip-toe-ing up its surface towards higher ground, with soft, pink planes of greater expanse.
The ant met several of its friends, more and more as the ant continued on its journey. They hurried the ant onward, as if saying: Keep going, You’re almost there, Keep going, Just a little bit further…
Finally the ant reached an area where hundreds of its friends had gathered, scurrying amidst a dense forest of thick, silken threads. Something made the ant want to enter the forest, to head deeper and deeper towards the center–for reasons it didn’t quite understand– but eventually it arrived there.
A giant pillar of colored light shot up out of the center of the forest and hundreds of the ants huddled around it, getting as close as possible to its blinding glow. A hunger unlike the ant had ever felt reached a peak inside of it, and the ant hurried to join its friends and entered into the great pillar, drinking up the light as quickly as it could.
Drinking past the point when the ant realized it couldn’t handle it.
Drinking past the point when its little legs began glowing with the color.
Drinking past the point when it felt its entire body glowing.
Drinking until the ant became a part of the colored light.
And its friends waited in line.
And change the channel.