On the Floor, Before the Wall
by Richard J. Rodriguez
After “Let Us Consider” by Russell Edson
Let us reconsider the young woman who has set herself the task of scraping her shadow off a wall, and the reasons why she is still scraping. Her gray tormentor must persist through every layer of painted wallpaper and plaster that she whips away with her putty knife.
But when the woman breaks into darkness and there is no longer a distinguishable surface on which to cast a shadow, will she have succeeded if only for the hours she spends gazing into that hole? Will she sit patient until her tormentor stands and leaves?
What of the old man who has painted himself a suave, broad-shouldered figure, and dares not move a muscle?
Contained by their two-dimensional tyrants, silhouettes long to vanish with the flick of a switch.