The In-Between Place

When I was young, I spent long periods of time leaning up against my bedroom wall, playing with the light switch. Well, not just playing. I was trying to find the In-Between Place.

You see, a light switch is ON or Off, I understand that. I would roll my finger over the switch, feeling it slowly resist me, becoming ever more tensioned. That moment was coming, I could feel it.

The room – in bright, white, Light.

A little bit of elbow power, and one can hold a switch this way for some time. Nearly at its peak, but not quite. Almost there. And then – I would go for it…

Squeezing tightly, I roll a little further with my thumb.


The room is in Darkness.
Surprise, then frustration

I start again. It must be from Light to Dark, and not the other way. I was sure it worked that way.

Light switched on, roll my finger, pressing tightly….arm a little sore from the pressure, face almost kissing the plastic panel. I envision the electric current – flowing through the conduits and wires, filling the little glass world.

More pressure.

This time, as the switch tensions, my fingers shudder slightly, and I begin to perspire. I strain at controlling the little button. Resistance builds up further, and I can feel it wanting to release – to shut that flow off to the glass world with a snap. But I don’t want this.

What I want, is the In-Between Place. I know it exists, because I’ve been there. It’s not hard to visit, and the path is usually open just as you are awakening, or are falling to sleep. It’s a place where rules are never hard and sharp and where people SEE not yell. Where age is arbitrary, understanding is immediate, and people wear their insides out.

But visiting the In-Between Place while fully conscious is escaping me.

The switch begins its surrender. I know it. I know this feeling – it starts to relax minutely. It throws up its hands and says “well, what do you expect, idiot? I’m a fucking switch – I’m on or off!”

But I know this isn’t true – even as, for the fifty-third time tonight, black darkness thunders into the room, leaving my eyes with red afterglows of a once-world.

It’s ok. I’m tired anyway. I’ll try again tomorrow.

I’m still trying to this day

The In-Between Place

Mark German

Strathmore, Australia

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Artist's Description

The memory of this (and it’s all true) was spurred today by mick8585, in a recent writing

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