She was the last one to come in to the classroom. All the other students were sitting in a circle in the middle, busy looking over their notes, correcting papers, talking in hashed whispers. They did not even noticed a small figure dressed in a green sweater and blue-light jeans of a girl with beautiful face framed in black curls streaming down her back,and green eyes sparkling with defiance. Jenny walked in and, noticing an unoccupied chair by the window, she went over and took a seat. The two tall windows couldnT be open because of two cocoons swarming with hornets outside. She didnT like this classroom, nor any other. All were exactly the same. Whitewashed brick bare walls, yawning cracks, red linoleum floors , gloomy looking blackboards, confided her in this educated ugliness. And it was hot inside.
When the green door with a small window opened, and prof. R.'s tall, thin figured clod in ever the same beige curdory jacket, blue shirt, and black dockers appeared, the students stopped talking and greeted the prof.R with a barely audible "Hello". Prof. R. strutted his stuff towards his desk.
He put down his brown-leather bag bulging out with books and papers. He sat behind the wooden desk whose surface was scarred with only too familiar insults whose deep cuts in the wood bore testimony of hatred for prof. R. strict and too demanding standards he had set up for all who ever hoped to pass his course. Communication 401.
When the class began Jenny was glad for not sitting close to this elder man whose cadaverous, hallowed-eyed face with sucked in cheeks and thin colorless mouth reminded her of a washed ashore dead fish. His hands wore transparent gloves of cold, damp sweat.
She never participated nor volunteer in any of the class discussion, knowing that others looked down on her just because she never even tired to became a part of any crowd, least of all of this college pack. She was thought to be the freak, the misfit, always by herself.
Again and again the same voices of the same few students answered the question and seemed to battle for more space to voice their bullshit knowledge.
Jenny wasnT listening. She was looking out the window where the spring paraded in her fabously colorfull dress, scenting the air with sweet, jenny imagined it to be soft pink, smell of floweres waking up in their beds with freshly turned out earth.
"Jenny", she heard her name called out by prof.R,"and what do you think about it?".
"I am sorry...but i wasnT listening", she said bluntly, staring at prof. R's cadaverous, taut face stadded with beads of sweat.
"We have been discussing the importance of skilfull communication, and as we all have agreed, it is indispensable in having a satisfactory relationship with others...by satisfactory i mean fulfilling..." A drop of sweat like a stirred leach began descending prof. R, tall, furrowed with wrinkles brow, hang on his caterpillar eyebrow and dived into his right eye with a dilated pupil floating on its watery surface.
"Communication...", repeated Jenny to herself as she glanced around the room, meeting blank, mocking faces of other students,"...it all depends on what i want others to know...i think that language can express a lot in terms of ideas...intellectual concepts...but there are feelings that have their own vocabulary of gestures that sometimes render the expressive power of language impotent."
"impotent you say." said prof.R, reaching for a napking inside his pocket of his jacket and tapping on his red eye in which the drop of sweat dissolved, stinging his vision.
She could feel thirty eyeballs boring into her.
" Thank you, Jenny." said prof.R, "does anyone would like to add anything?"
"Well, I think...", it was one of those few voices she knew and yet didnT want to put a tag of a face. She began feeling uncomfortable.
Suddenly, she felt a cramp take a bite out of her stomach, she curled up on her seat, holding herself in half, feeling the cramp loosen its grip only to climb her ribs and stub her heart with piercing pain. She felt the pain now spreading all over her body until she couldnT breath.
Tumbling over chairs, tripping over backpacks she dashed out of the classroom, leaving behind gangoozeld students and prof.R. blinking his deep set, watery eyes in total confusion.
She run down the long hallway, taking two steps at a time, she scaled down the stairs, throwing her body against white doors, almost knocking them out of their wooden frames, outside into a warm, comforting embrace of sun and gentle breeze that kissed her face.
She looked around, looking for a spot to sit down and calm herself. The pain was gone, but her body still throbbed at the memory of this "voluptuous" stranger that had come from nowhere and knocked the breath out of her.
She saw a bench on a purple rug of petals that fell from a tree after fresh green broke out of the buds. She went over to it and sat down. She streched her legs, spreading her arms wide apart, taking a deep breath that felt like a sip of cold water.
She sat there for quite awhile until she remembered that she left her bag and brushes in the classroom. Slowly she rose up and walked back in to get her stuff. Inside the building the hallways felt like a behive swarming with so many bodies and voices.
There were other students she didnT know in the class. Those were the diligents students, ambitious students, studious and smart, always nice and forever fake. She looked at them with such a defiance in her eyes that if they could only read her look they would have known how doomed they were trying in vain to bribe life with their diligence and ambitions and studies that would take them all like a peasant takes his herd to a pasture to grease, inside cubicles in which their life would shrink to a pathetic tragedy. she grabbed her bag that she found laying on top of the wooden desk stained with fingerprints of prof.R's cold, damp hands. she left the classroom thinking of how useless was all that education which she had found to be manufactured in schools which like factories produced brainless goons with "deep" thoughts.
She almost run to her painting studio situated in the back of the building. There, in front of a white, taut surface of a canvass, she found herself reciting Rilke's poem she had copied long time ago and carried in her bag: "May what i do flow from me like a river,
no forcing, no holding back, the way it is with children."
She checked her brushes to make sure that they had been thoroughly washed, opened seven tubes with paint letting colors slowly snake out onto a palatte. She picked a brush and twirled the tip in red. she touched the canvass, the first touch always intimidating but also exciting, soon she crossed the threshold of that dimension in which images came to her bringing on silver trays colors they wanted to wear. time stopped.
She wasnT done painitng when she put down the brush to see how the painting looked/felt from the viewerS distance. it showed far in the distance a range of volcanos wearing plums of smoke of different colors, luscious green carpeted a strech of red earth between volcanos and a golden river with gently sloping banks studded with precious gems and a beautiful, tall, red-hair woman wearing a transparent gown in the middle of the river, holding what looked like a leash with a dwarf at the end with an eyeball instead of a head.
She liked it, but there was still a lot of work to be done. She was about to stepped up to the painting to figure how...when suddenly, she almost fainted, the woman beckoned her to come...she turned around...no,no, it was too much...but then, there she was...smiling and with her left hand out for her to come...Jenny approached the painting, at the same time hesitantly extending her hand towards the smiling woman...Jenny took her hand and stepped inside her painting...the warm golden water was gently breaking apart against her legs...the dwarf with an eyeball for a head blinked at her... she looked towards the volcanos with their colorful plumes of smoke slowly moving...