Yesterday I Met a Wall

Katie DuBois


Yesterday I met a wall.  It wasn’t that I ran into it.  Rather that I walked past and it said hello.  And, well I couldn’t be rude now could I?  My mother always stressed to me, never be rude, especially if a wall should happen to speak to you.  They never talk much and when they do, they usually have something important to say.  So I returned the greeting.

“You always walk past here, don’t you?” the wall said.


“Well, yeah.  I have a class right over in that building.”  The reason for his question-statement befuddled me.  I didn’t like it.  His questioning or my own befuddlement.  Both aggravated me and not just in one language now, but three.  How did the wall know how to speak?  Better yet, where the heck was his mouth or brain for that matter?  Even a dodo bird knew you needed a brain to speak.  He however, the dodo bird, not the wall, did not know that a mouth was required.  This fact is evident from the dodo’s persistent attempts to use his anus to speak.  There’s a reason he’s extinct.


I suppose it shouldn’t matter where the wall’s mouth was or brain even ‘cause clearly he had both if he was speaking with me.


“Do you enjoy walking here?” the wall asked.


“Huh?” I said before I realized how rude it must’ve sounded.  Leave it to me to insult a wall, putting the tenuous relationship between humans and walls at risk.


“I was just wondering ‘cause you don’t seem terribly happy.  So I was wondering if you enjoyed walking past here?”


“Oh.”  At his explanation my stomach dropped, more like plunged into the deepest of earth’s caverns.


“I know what you’ve been thinking about.”


I took a step back, my face blank and mind a maelstrom.


“How?” I finally managed, my voice a mere fraction of its usually unsure level.


“You walk past everyday.  Lately you’ve been different.  I know that difference, what it means.  Others have walked past like that and then one day they don’t.  I notice.”



Was it really possible?  Could this wall really notice?  It was cold and hard, like everyone else.


“So what,” I asked.


“So don’t,” it said simply.

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240