The Portal

Alice falls down the rabbit hole. Milo drives through the tollbooth. Dorothy is swept up in the tornado. Neo takes the red pill. Don’t tell us about another world you’ve imagined, heard about, or created. Rather, tell us about its portal. Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about. -Inspired by Raphael Hallerman, Class of 2020

I am standing there on the threshold. The air is different. It’s lighter with a touch of lavender. The Ivory marble is glistening. It feels cool. It soothes me. In front of me, I see the beckoning white chair. I proceed. The cool dark mat smoothly soothes my feet, tickling me just a bit. The chair is eerie but welcoming. It has a large back but no arm support, which makes it strange for a throne. I sit.

The throne feels as if it’s a part of me. I feel close to the ground through its base. I rest my back and look around. A pond is next to me, empty. On the opposite side, there is a large mirror and a fountain oozing out of its base. The sound of trickling water reminds me of nature: it reminds me of the world I was born into.

I look down on the marble. The reddish veins on the marble etch out my people, my cavalry, my suzerainty. This enclosed place is my kingdom and being the king I have a special kind of control over this world, my world. Ensconced here on the throne, I cast a looming shadow on the marble, which reminds me of my responsibility, my responsibility to my own world, to my own self.

This throne is not only a portal to my future but also a gateway to my past and present. It is a gateway to my own self, my...

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