I press down on the paper with my jaw,
Wrestling with it.
Commanding that thin sheet was much easier before,
Swift, lithe folds:
The boat would magically appear,
Zero effort, taken for granted.
The computer screen flashed at me,
‘How To Make Paperboats… ‘
I’d have scorned at such a site not long before;
Being the paperboat purist I was,
Pointing my once slender finger at any user,
Laughing, my fangs bared.
Now using my forehead as a pivot, I had to press down on the sheet.
Skull dug deep into the fibres, the raw pores on my skin cried as
The slow, enunciated movements sent jolts down my spine;
If my head shifted, my boat would spring back into its A4 form.
When I made paperboats, I didn’t hear the sultry caress of the waves anymore, I heard the cackling jeers of onlookers,
“Look his boat has no mast, he’s doomed. ”
“Such a crumpled mess that is!”
Maybe my having been one of this group,
In the impulsive, trigger happy days long gone past,
Attracted the bacteria;
Invited it to glut on my hand,
Feasting finger by finger:
Going in for seconds and thirds until its slimy tongue,
Slithers up my arm.
It’s welcome massively overstayed.
My hand holds down the folded sheet,
One step from completion:
I bite onto the dry paper,
Tugging it as my vessel comes to life.
Taking a step back, I observe it;
A tattered ship, crushed but desperate to exist.
I smile as my hand scrolls down on the webpage:
“How To Make Paperboats with one hand.”
Akash Shroff, 12 AICE – Staff Writer