Jason Kotarski




The Lillingtons: 
Black Hole in My Mind


He sat at the small desk in the the corner of his bedroom surrounded by crumpled wads of paper with a fresh blank page in front of him. The desk was a hand-me-down from his older brother and it felt too small. When he adjusted himself in the chair he banged his knee hard on the underside of the single drawer in the desk. He sighed, rubbed his knee, and then sharpened his pencil. Again.

The young man couldn’t understand why this was so difficult. He could see the entire story in his mind: the wormhole, the spacecraft spinning out of control, the pilot waking up battered and bruised with stubble on his face from a beard that wasn’t there before the event, the cage he was in, a cell among row after row of other cells, the prison planet, the escape.

It was all there but he couldn’t figure out how to get started. The story wasn’t just about the details and events that occurred, it was about the feeling of being trapped but safe. About feeling alone yet curious. It was about being courageous. He tried and tried to write that opening sentence but every attempt ended up discarded on the floor.

He doubted himself. Maybe what he wanted to say wasn’t worth saying. Who would read it anyway? But then again, maybe it wasn’t for the readers anyway. Maybe it was just for himself.

He looked up from the desk and glanced around his room. The walls were covered with posters from his favorite movies; his favorite comic book characters; his favorite bands. These pictures gave him comfort, a stark contrast from the images on his brother’s walls; athletes and swimsuit models. These walls wore his passions like tattooed skin. He felt mostly out of place in the world. But not here in this space he’d created for himself from reclaimed furniture and pages torn from magazines.

He felt safe in his isolation but he knew that maybe there was something else out there for him. If he could just get his story started then maybe they would understand. Maybe he would understand. But how to begin?

With another look around his room for inspiration his eyes landed on the guitar he got for his last birthday. He wadded up the last piece of paper that was sitting on the desk. He tossed it towards the trash can but missed. He moved across the room. He picked up his guitar. He sat down on the bed.

He had an idea for a song.