Honey & Dirt/aka The Weight of Shadows

A not that long time ago there was a girl. A girl who knew what she wanted and most of the time she succeeded in getting that. Let’s call her Amelia. Amelia was young, talented and independent. “Boys wanted to be with her and girls wanted to be her” type of a person.

But the time came and Amelia got stuck. She couldn’t make up her mind about what to do.

Do I prefer Boy 1 or Boy 2? Or maybe the new guy I’ve just met? He seemed so fascinating! What country should I live in? Europe would be nice, but maybe somewhere more exotic would be better? What should I do next? I can’t just fall of my pedestal over nothing.

The abundance of options and choices were overwhelming. Her thoughts were getting more complex everyday. All the scenarios of her perfect life were piling up, leaving her in an impasse. She couldn’t make up her mind.

One time, Amelia went to a museum. A contemporary art museum, a perfect place for someone like her to focus on something else that her problems.

She entered through a massive door and suddenly had a feeling that something was off. No one was there. This wasn’t that surprising, as it was a Wednesday morning, but there wasn’t even anyone at the register.

Oh well, I guess it means a free entrance — she shrugged and went to see the first exhibition.

“The weight of shadows” a collection by various artist.

The first painting(?) caught her attention.

It was so disgusting, yet it kept her attention for a few minutes. Is it my past or my future? I hope none of these. Can’t it be my present? Or my anything? Artists are sick. The description:

“Honey & Dirt — artist unknown

It’s a clash of what is desired with what is received.”

A kindergarten could draw that, but somehow she couldn’t move to see other pieces, she was just standing there thinking about the dirt. Then she heard someone singing from another hall.

“It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. At all.”

This was getting creepy, she still couldn’t see or hear anyone else but some female voice kept repeating this melody over and over again. The voice was soft, it could be her mother singing that, but why would her mother be here and sing in an empty museum?

She slowly started walking toward the source of this sound. Step by step. Room by room. There wasn’t anyone else in the whole museum, just empty rooms, some even without any art on the walls. The voice seemed close, but she couldn’t really pin the source. “Then I sit for a while, looking around”. Maybe it’s just a part of a very freaky exhibition?

Wtf is going in here. The voice got louder. It wasn’t a recording. The woman singing this was just around the corner. Amelia couldn’t just walk in there. She sneaked by the wall and delicately took a peak.

It was a woman’s voice. She was mopping the floor. Could be maybe 50? She was chubby, with curly brown hair put in an old-fashioned bun. Amelia kept listening to her song, there was something deeply soothing in it.

“Sometimes life is really hard

Sometimes everything falls apart

Sometimes you just don’t know what to do.

Sometimes I’m looking at myself, don’t really know who I am.

It happens. Sometimes.”

It was it, she has to meet this weird cleaning lady and ask her what is going on in here. Maybe the museum is closed today? She’ll also ask about this song, it might be the new hit she’s missed.

-Hello? I’m sorry to disturb you, but can you tell me why isn’t anyone here?

-Oh, hello sweetie, I haven’t noticed you there. How long have you been here?

-Not too long. Is museum closed today? I didn’t know, the doors were open. I’m sorry, I can go.

-Oh, you’re such a sweetheart. Don’t worry as much. It’s actually pretty hard to leave this place.

-How come? I can just go back the way I came, right?

-Well, it is much more complex than that.

Amelia was just getting annoyed. So is it open or closed? Should I go or can I stay? Old ladies like this are just too much.

I guess I’ll just go then — she thought.

She tried getting back, but she couldn’t find a way. She kept circling back to the Honey & Dirt painting. Wtf is going on in here?!!! Is this a weird dream?

Since she was a child Amelia had a gift of lucid dreams, but it wasn’t it. She heard the song again “it doesn’t matter…”, she went back to the cleaning lady.

-I can’t find the exit. What is going on in here?!

-Oh darling, there’s no reason to shout. I don’t know what is happening. She started singing “it happens. Sometimes…

-No! It doesn’t just happen sometimes. It’s not happening to me. Not sometimes. Not ever. — Amelia caught herself shouting. — I’m sorry, it’s just how long are you here? What ways did you try to get out? Maybe it’s a riddle we have to solve? Maybe it’s a labirynth of a really eccentric artist?

-I don’t know. I’m just cleaning. I don’t know anything about labyrinths or art to be frank. I just needed a job and got hired here.

-You need to help me get out of here.

-Why? It seems like you need to relax a little. “Sit for a while, look around, are you really changing now?”

-Can you just stop with this song already?! I’m going to find a way out, with or without you.

And she went. Amelia found a pen in her purse and started to draw the paths she was talking on her hand. No matter how hard she tried she either ended up by the cleaning lady who kept singing or the Honey&Dirt painting. There was no way out. Her drawing was a mess. She once again followed the voice “it doesn’t matter…” and ended up by the lady. At this point she was taking a break and sat at the corner of the room.

-There is no way out. I can’t figure this out. — At this point Amelia just started crying. — There is nothing more I can do. I’m going to be stuck here forever. With you. I’m going to die here.

The Cleaning Lady didn’t seems scared at all, she reached her hand and asked Amelia to sit with her.

Amelia was still crying hard and the Cleaning Lady hugged her and started to whisper the song:

“You always want things to make sense

For things to fall right into place

Exactly how you imagined them

But wanting isn’t just enough

You just got to let it go.

It happens. Sometimes.

But then sit for a while. Look around. Is anything really changing now?

It doesn’t matter, it’s doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. At all”.

Amelia kept weeping. She felt so warm and suddenly… calm. Is this lady even real? It doesn’t matter. Will I ever get out of here? It doesn’t matter. What am I going to do with my life? It doesn’t matter. At all. Exhausted, she fell asleep.

Amelia woke up being poked by someone. She opened her eyes and saw a security guard over her. It was still sunny outside. She was still at the museum, but the Cleaning Lady was gone. Confusion was awaking, but she felt deeply at peace. It happens. Sometimes. The guard asked if she was ok.

She was. At least it seemed like she was.

She got up and asked about the Cleaning Lady. The security guard didn’t know anyone from the personnel with curly hair and asked her if he should call an ambulance.

Ok, let me see the Honey & Dirt then. She was certain that the solutions are there. There must be. She crossed 2 rooms, turned right, then took the stairs and turned left. She was passing dozens of people on her way, but she didn’t care. The Weight of Shadows. She sighted with comfort. At least this is here.

She looked around. The painting she was looking for disappeared. After considering asking around she thought “It happens. Sometimes. And it doesn’t matter.” and left the museum.

Works in Tech 💻 into art, culture and psychology. IG & Quora @alaisontime