As an adult, Annabelle knew she projected a kind of sad sack image, one of plodding obedience to a life of endless drudgery. No one wanted to be her friend or marry her. No one even wanted to be around her. Her only companions were the disturbing echoes from that dark pit at the center of her being.
One day she saw a bumper sticker that suggested she "practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty." Was this the pathway out of perpetual gloom? The escape route away from the abyss?
During the next few days Annabelle went around offering to carry grocery bags for elderly people with thin, blue-veined arms. Some of them were happy to accept Annabelle's help, though others seemed to resent the implication that they were too fragile to fend for themselves. Annabelle also offered a twenty dollar bill to a homeless man who snatched it out of her hand and headed, hell bent for leather, to the nearest liquor store.
After that, Annabelle tried to concentrate on senseless acts of beauty. But what did that mean exactly? After thinking it over for awhile, Annabelle bought a packet of mixed wildflower seeds and proceeded to toss them hither and yon -- in vacant lots, along sidewalks, even into the bare patches on people's lawns. This latter action got her in trouble with a homeowner who insisted she was trying to sabotage his yard by planting weeds.Eventually Annabelle gave up on random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Meanwhile, the hole in her heart grew bigger, the mournful echoes louder.
Annabelle grew older and the hole in her heart grew bigger. One evening she was watching the news on TV when a sign some protester was holding rekindled her hope. The sign said "Occupy your heart."
"That's it!" Annabelle cried aloud. She turned off the TV and also all the lights in her apartment. Then she sat down on the floor and closed her eyes. She breathed deeply for awhile until all the tension of resistance had left her body. The hole in her heart grew larger and larger until there was almost nothing of herself left outside of it. The echoes were loud now. They flooded her mind with their wild, unbounded sorrow. She could feel the wind from the dark wings fan her face.