Drabble 18 – Opia

Opia

Image Source: Aldo Danyel via Flickr.

I’m going to be completely honest: I’ve been at PAX Prime all this weekend and my brain has all the processing capability of oatmeal. Instead of writing personal musings about riding the bus, making accidental eye contact, and looking away, I’m going to let you fill in those blanks yourself.

You can also imagine that I talk a little about “real words” again, and whether words have any basis in reality or whether they’re just noises our mouths make and we attach a meaning to them because it’s convenient. Rather than diving into the meandering, philosophical thoughts on reality and language and narrative that are almost certainly the product of exhaustion, too many game demos, and mediocre convention food, I’ll let you imagine what that conversation is like and you can pretend we had it together.

Anyway, a drabble, written before PAX Prime and therefore very probably coherent. Meant to be posted last night, but WordPress didn’t feel like uploading images.

OPIA

(Noun: quoted from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)

the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable—their pupils glittering, bottomless and opaque—as if you were peering through a hole in the door of a house, able to tell that there’s someone standing there, but unable to tell if you’re looking in or looking out

Grace clutches the rail as the bus sways, taking the corner far too sharply for its speed. But her eyes are on two women seated across from one another, one with a backpack in her lap and a hat tugged down over her hair and the other with a compact, bright red lipstick on her lips. Grace twitches her fingers.

They look up, locking eyes for the slightest moment—their lips curl in separate smiles, long eyelashes flutter, and, synchronized, they look away and try not to blush.

Grace smiles, powerful for just one moment, a goddess of small things.

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