A man lives his life in a field of doors. He spends all his time walking through them. First he goes one way, then he goes back; sometimes he skips around at random.
The man wanders through the doors for years and years and years, going in and out and back and around.
All day long, every single day.
Then one day he comes to a wall.
Somehow, the man doesn’t notice at first — he just reaches out and opens it up. He opens the wall and walks right on through, just as though it were a door.
Wait! the man says, a moment later. Wait — was that a wall?
He turns and looks back, but there’s nothing there. No wall, not a thing — nothing.
I wonder where it went? the man says to himself.
And so he begins his search.
The man searches everywhere. He searches for days. He searches for weeks, months, years. He searches the whole field, from one end to the other.
But all he ever finds are doors.
Fine, says the man, I’ll build my own wall!
And he grabs a hammer and gathers some nails.
He destroys every door he finds in the field, and he hammers the pieces together.
The man builds a wall as tall as the sky; he builds a wall as wide as the horizon.
And when he’s done, he steps back to admire it.
That’s when the wall starts to fall on him.
It teeters at first — backward and forward — and then it starts to come down.
Oh no! thinks the man, putting his hands over his head, and he turns around and runs.
The man runs and runs. He runs very quickly. But the wall is too big to be outrun. It comes down as fast as a door kicked in, and crushes the man into the ground.
But just before it does — just at that very last moment — something in the man opens up. Something clear and small — like a lost little window — and the man flits through it, and is gone.
Ben Loory is a musician and writer living in Los Angeles, California. His book Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is currently seeking a home.