It’s dark outside.
The darkness encroaching upon the sky casts deep-set shadows throughout the small room, so that not a single shaft of light peeks through. Shriveled-up canvas papers are strewn throughout the room, across the floor and the table. The only paper that is not destroyed is the one lying haphazardly across a desk in the corner of the room, illuminated by a little lamp.
There’s shouting coming from downstairs, and the door is locked. Adam doesn’t want to go down to answer them, because he knows that he’ll receive a beating if he does. The pain is simply not worth it. So he spends another minute waiting, pacing back and forth across the room to see if they’ll stop.
I hate this.
An hour later, he finds himself at the desk, his pencil skipping lazily across the rough-hewn page. The image is fuzzy in his mind; he can’t concentrate, can’t formulate the shades and curves, the strong outlines and the weaker outliers. Likes individual droplets of water in a raging creek, they pass over each other and merge into a cascading mess that crash into everything he’s ever known to create a catastrophe. With a frustrated shout, he hurls the pencil at the wall and watches it break, then waits with fear as the shouting downstairs escalates.
Why does it have to be me?
The image on the paper is an arm, emaciated and mangled beyond recognition. Adam doesn’t know why he’s been drawing it for days, skipping whatever meager meals he’s managed to get, struggling to get every line perfect for an imaginary– oh, right, so that’s why.
He wants to create something. What is it? Or who? He doesn’t know. Why does that one dead arm, with all its scars, now fill his every thought? He doesn’t know that either. What he does know, is that he has to keep going– he’s almost got it right, just has to adjust that one line– No, that offsets the other one. Maybe correct that one finger, the way it is curled so threateningly– No, then that contradicts the angle in which the arm is supposed to twist, to grasp. The arm is supposed to be alive– it is connected to something that is living, after all.
I want someone to save me from this hell.
Back to the drawing board again. Forget the voices that are escalating downstairs, the footsteps that are now not-so-steadily plodding up the stairs, the banging on the door. Forget them all– but Adam is finding it hard now, as he shakily reaches for another pencil, tries so hard to put it on the paper again. As he tries to bring it closer to the paper, the unbearable tinnitus in his head increases steadily, until he can’t bear it anymore.
He clutches his blond hair in his hands and screams, just as the door blows open, and his father staggers in, the alcohol on his breath palpable in the air–
And Adam breaks.
With a feeble, inaudible cry, Adam stumbles up on his two feet and rushes at his father, hoping that someway, somehow, he’ll be stable enough to spare him.
Another hour passes. Adam’s eyes open suddenly, and close again as the tinnitus starts ringing again. He’s on the ground, lying on his side. There’s a little pool of blood on the floor. His father’s? No, it’s his, he realizes with a groan. Then the gears turn in his head, and he staggers to his feet again and runs to the desk.
The paper is still intact. He nearly weeps with gratitude; his father was too drunk to notice the blessed piece of paper.
I want someone to protect me.
Quiet darkness descends into his eyes as he witnesses the paper, his hands shaking with gratitude. Slowly, he sets the paper upon the table again and begins to sketch.
I want to create God.