“Sometimes you do a thing because it is the only arrow you have left in your quiver. You do it, not because you have a brilliant plan, but because if you do nothing your soul withers and dies.”
“I NEVER THOUGHT it would be her.”
Plato’s grandmother said the same thing every time they opened the window. She had been blinded early on in the days of the new regime, when taking the eyes of artists was more common than the rain. The violence had also taken most of her words away. And yet, every time the shutters unlatched, this single sentence emerged, to float in the air between them.
Plato glanced at his grandmother, then turned towards the small part of the city square still visible among tall buildings, weighted clotheslines, and rusted antennae. The statue of the masked woman was the only shade of white in a sea of dirty concrete.
Almost a thing of beauty.
Plato lay against the windowsill, looking down. His grandmother could not mean any of the passersby. Every woman walking in the street looked the same, the bones of their faces twisted to form the exact same flower-like mask. Hands covered under gloves, clothes of a similar cut—even his own healthy eyes had trouble telling strangers apart. The policewoman on the corner was not the same one as yesterday, judging by her height and the way her uniform fit her.
No, Grandmother had to mean the statue. Brave Lady Manya, the first to free herself from the tyranny of beauty that had held all women captive before the new regime took over and elevated them—whether they wanted it or not. Read more »