From the Back of My Eyelids

This is an exercise where I take the first line of a book and begin writing. The goal is to write a complete story or at least a useful scene (the definition of ‘useful’ in this case is mine, not yours and I have yet to complete my definition of that particular word. For this particular example I’m using the first three sentences totaling nine words from the book Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper.


I’m surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.

I know, you thought I said, ‘I’m surrounded by thousands of worms,’ but I said words. Yes, words… thousands… millions of them. Sometimes, I think I’d rather be surrounded by thousands of worms.

Bloodvessels of the eyelids, front view.All those words, coming at me from just about every possible direction, even from the inside, even from more than one inside, not that there’s more than one person inside me, but there seems to be more than one way the words are coming at me from the inside. They’re coming from inside my head, and inside my breath, and even from the backs of my eyelids.

 Bloodvessels of the eyelids, front view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s right, I close my eyes and I see words. Sometimes I see worms there, too. Sometimes they look like they’re on hooks. Once in a while I see fish floating around, too. They don’t seem to be looking for the worms. They seem to be trying to read. If you’ve ever paid attention to fish in a fishbowl you might have noticed that they look very much like avid readers, hovering in one place, staring at something, not necessarily the book; but often something beyond the book,  lost to whatever might actually be going on around them.

It’s not easy for them to read, at least I don’t think it is, after all there are probably just as many words surrounding them as there are worms, maybe even more. I don’t think we’re looking at numbers in the millions here. The reason I think that is because it doesn’t seem possible for there to be that many words or even worms on the back of my eyelids.

Not that it isn’t possible. If we speculate that the world I see on the back of my eyelids goes far beyond the restrictions of what I am able to see, just as the words that surround me go far beyond what I am able to perceive, then in that case, it is possible. Also, in that case I becomeWords Cloud 02/01-08/02 2009afraid to close my eyes because that admits to the possibility I might find myself trying to explore that entire world, in much the way that I am trying to explore all the words that surround me.

In a sense I have explored all those words. However, my exploration has merely been that of a person exploring a mountain. There is far more to the thing than whatever meets the eye or, in certain instances, the back of the eyelid.

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