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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    “When the Curtain Rises” by Lauren Hildum

    When the Curtain Rises

            I sit in my seat in the theater, my eyes fixated on the velvet red curtain that hides the stage. The show will be starting any minute now, and the anticipation is eating away at my focus on anything else. Chatter infests the dome, words of a thousand conversations blending together in a whirlpool of repugnant sound. But, with just the few seconds it takes for the curtain to rise and the lights to flicker to darkness, all will fall quiet, and the only sign of life will be the actors on stage and my rapid heartbeat. For now I busy myself by studying the patterns on the ceiling, an infinity of delicate designs climbing over the audience’s heads. They begin as vines, trailing the ceiling with their elegant flowers before twisting together into something more extravagant.  The two-dimensional tendrils spin into large circles mean to resemble suns. Each sun has a story to tell, as if the days the sun has witnessed are all displayed above us. Some show ancient symbols I can’t even begin to decipher, and some show murals of prairies or rolling hills or forests of evergreens. It’s a performance that never ends, and I lose myself in it. Finally the familiar sound of the curtain rising brings me from my trance and I shift my focus to the lights falling upon the stage like a blanket, and signaling the beginning of a different performance.


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