the color of waiting

waitingThe color of waiting is white.  It shows no pity to those who succumb and it wraps itself around you saying:  “Now you are mine for awhile.”  It fills your head with its dense cotton batting and settles in your abdomen where its presence makes itself known with an ever-growing sense of anxiety. 

Waiting is a white cotton sheet tacked over the window, sequestering you in your home and holding you hostage to its demands.  It sits, wedged next to you in your chair, radiating its alabaster coldness while erasing the words in your book.  It whispers, “You are not important” and makes you forget your name.   White noise clogs your ears and makes time stand still.   Minutes will seem like hours and days will feel like centuries.  It etches wrinkles in your face and changes the part in your hair.   It is the grayness of nothingness and of everything.

The color of waiting is a ghostly white specter floating above your head and through your body.   Its tendrils weave a web across your eyes until you can only focus inward, where it sits patiently, always present, always reminding you of who’s really in charge.   It creeps into your bed at night and startles you awake – an icy cold finger rearranging a jumbled dreamscape into its own name.   Its white-hot ember will light up the blackness and you will not sleep again tonight. 

Instead, you will wait.

You will wait and you will think only of waiting and you won’t stop, won’t stop, won’t stop, while your eyes film over with milky white cataracts and your nose fills with the acrid smell of self-loathing and your mouth tastes only regret.  

“You will wait now” it whispers, its departure time unknown.

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4 Responses to “the color of waiting”


  1. 1 Sorrow July 31, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    To be honest, I have never seen waiting as white…
    but I love the way you spun it..
    it works..
    Thanks! I was inspired by some poetry I heard the day before and the image of a white sheet temporarily hung over my neighbor’s front windows. Funny how two completely unrelated things can move thoughts in a single direction.

  2. 2 Dan August 3, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Beautifully written and touching, as always. It kind of describes the feeling of scanning Google Reader and seeing if Observant Bystander has posted anything new – except your post focuses on the waiting, while I focus on the reward. Thanks for writing so well.

    Ah, Dan. I can always count on you for affirmation on my writing! I’m so glad you’re still reading, in spite of my long pauses…

  3. 3 Sadie August 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Believe it or not, your post reminded me about a trip I took about 4 years ago, via an Amtrak train headed towards Las Vegas. I honestly believe the trip lasted at least 5 hours longer than scheduled.

    When we initially made arrangement to travel by rail, we thought it would be a great change, but all I can remember are the crowds and what seemed like endless waiting.

    I am basically pretty patient, but I did feel powerless and anxious and at times the impulse to scream was rearing it’s ugly head.

    Great post…you hit the nail on the head…

    Thanks for the comment! I thought this would be almost too obscure and would miss the mark. Glad you ‘heard’ what I was trying to say.

  4. 4 Mickstone Designs February 20, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Very beautifully written. I see waiting as much more like a neurotic person jumping around me, asking quesion after question, poking me for the answer, irritating me as minutes slowly tick by, my heart racing faster and faster with the anxiety of the issue building.


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