Logan Mathis’s Corona Creations Story

Logan Mathis

Staring at my screen for this long created an illusion of depth that sang to me like a siren, begging me to stare a little longer until I am completely submerged. Sometimes I just stare and breathe and forget that I’m staring and breathing. I stare at my moth gray walls accented with espresso furniture and chantilly lace doors. Apparently those are the paint names for light beige, browish-black, and white. I stare at the Thanos figurine sitting innocently on my shelf and wonder if he did succeed after all. However, I mostly just stare at my screen. It really has the most going on right now.

I am convinced Clorox wipes have become an invasive species. When I was still at school the only place I found them was in the closet of the anatomy classroom. Dr. Jaeger keeps the human heart in a jar behind them. A heart inside of a jar blocked off from view by containers of wipes and a closet door. We didn’t want to expose the younger students to that. Seeing a raw and uncaged heart might give them the wrong impression.

I have this memory of my friend, Bay. It goes like this:
We were in anatomy class, back when the days of the week still meant something. We were looking at teeth and Dr. Jaeger was going through the science of how much smoking hurts you. One student whispered over to Bay, “take a good long look crack baby, your teeth will look like that sooner or later.”

I tried my best to serve as some comfort later that night. We talked quietly on a bench in the neighborhood park that held most of the secrets to our childhoods. While I don’t remember exact words, the memory continues nonetheless. Bay said to me:

“Do you remember that lecture from philosophy class?”

“Which one?”

“Aristotle wasn’t it? I can’t quite remember…”

“The Metaphysics or whatever?”

“Yeah, that one.”

“What about it?”

“I keep going back to the efficient part. The part about how a percentage of the changes
in the world are due to us creating things like how a carpenter builds a house.”

“I see you are in one of your deep thinking moods, best to let it all out.”

“What if our inherent value was only to be judged by what we create? And- and let’s even go past that! What if our value was only affected by our actions?! I mean, not being distinguishable from anyone else except due to the actions you take? It would be like, I’m not sure… having no form!”

“Bay… you know it isn’t like that.”

“But could you imagine?”

“I don’t know. I like your blue eyes.”

Now I sit at home with no one but my screen to keep me company. The memory keeps turning over and over in my head. What does it take to be formless? To only be judged by your actions? I dump my body out of bed and heavily walk towards the kitchen. If the container of Clorox wipes hadn’t been right there on the counter I would have heaved myself back into bed to stare some more.

I take them into the bathroom with me and pop the lid off. I grab handfuls and start scrubbing everything off. My gender, my race, my sexuality, my class, my family’s history. I throw all the dirtied wipes in the trash and stare into the mirror.

Everything is smudged now, like when you clean glass improperly. My face blends in with the rest of my body and my eyes streak across the width of the mirror. It’s so impure I can now clearly see that the glass was never truly stuck against the wall. The edge seems to press inward like a closet door. I put my hand up to the cold glass and push. Behind it is a heart in a jar.