What I remember being is a stucco wall. A door segmented into thirds, the top and bottom segments equal in size, the middle one possibly equal in size to the other two combined (although these types of things will trick you — I have been tricked before). The door opened in the middle, in other words (and there are always other words), the door was actually two doors, the type that you can swing open to reveal a grand hallway, or a beautiful view, or, from the other side, you. The strange thing about these particular doors, though (and this is the reason I have begun talking to begin with) is that each of these doors swung in a different way: the right side towards you; the left away. Why would a door do that? A drunk carpenter? Defective hinges? The door was slightly ajar, and I could see a sliver of white — another stucco wall, perhaps, with another unseen door in it? But I did not dare to touch the handles. It scared me, this door that refused to declare an outside, or inside. And this made me think of this woman I knew, with a lazy inky eye who had a face that seemed to me to swing both out to me, and yet away. And I was afraid to touch her face as well, not knowing where I would be entering, or I mean to say where I would be exiting, or I guess that’s the whole point. And as I stared at the door, just as I stared at the woman, I wondered, am I on the outside? Her lazy inky eye, her iris etched like the filigree on a weather-worn Moroccan door, told me to rest. I was on the inside, and to enter would be leaving. And it is at that moment that I removed my shoes, and set them on a raised granite slab, and then sat down to ponder the door, slightly ajar, and, finally relaxing, sighed, knowing that I was inside, even as the rain began to gently tap the felt of my hat and soak the wool of my overcoat.
Written in Los Angeles, CA, November 17, 2003, 7:15-7:30 p.m.