Infinitesimal

Blank paper. Tear drop.

I squeezed the pencil and didn’t feel my fists go numb.

Blank paper. I stared at the clock. The second hand swept past the four, the five, the six…

Blank paper.

My parents rustled newspapers and magazines in the living room. They muttered “this is interesting” every other minute and I couldn’t imagine what could be so interesting.

Blank paper. Squeeze. Tick-tick-tick.

“This is interesting.”

Blank paper. Squeeze. Tick-tick-tick.

“This is interesting.”

I can’t write. I have nothing to say. I’m not creative. I have no idea what to do, where to start. I dab the pencil point into the wet splotch and make tiny, infinitesimal circles until the pencil bores through the soggy paper and etches a deep dot, fat and black, on the next page.

Infinitesimal.

I like that word. It fell into my mouth from a book about stars.

“This is interesting.”

I kept pressure on the pencil and tried to darken the dot so deeply that the hole pushed through onto the third page. It did.

Soon, I no longer heard the ticking clock. I no longer heard my parents. I put the pencil down and stretched my fingers, cracked my knuckles, and set to work again on my black hole made up of infinitesimal circles in this white universe made up of paper and thin, blue lines--spider leg thin--perfectly parallel like train tracks--and I wondered if they made paper in one great sheet full of these infinitesimal blue veins; did they cut one long forever sheet into an infinitesimal supply of perfectly blank rectangles?

My black hole grew deeper. The paper, wide and white and limitless, didn’t seem like enough for me, my mind, and what I had to say.

Looking inside the hole, I wondered how many pages it passed through.  I wrote infinitesimal on the page to the left of the hole. I erased it until I could only read a faint trace of the word and I wrote it again someplace else and erased it again.