Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Checking In.

Checking in. (Room #1)

red room. 2010.

“Checking in? Sir, are you looking for a room this evening?” says the red-haired counter girl as she waves two sheets of paper in my direction. It’s 4:00 am which is beside the point but the early hour hardly makes it an evening. The young beauty doesn’t look a day over seventeen and I’m certain that there’s an ulterior motive behind her employment as a night clerk in a seedy backroads motel out here in the middle of no where. Yet I smile and nod my head. Down drops the registry in front of me and over slides a ball point pin with the logo of a VIAGRA ad across the side. There are no limits that commercial marketing will go to drive in the heartfelt message of “BUY ME!” Picking up the silver barreled advertising tool I fill in the registry.

As per usual I place my favorite moniker for staying in seedy motels onto the name line. Beneath I carefully write out the initial and numbers of the anonymous P.O. Box that’s registered to the infamous unknown. An untraceable address in the small town of Carver Cave, Washington. Two residents. My cat and I sit patiently on rainy afternoons in July to collect the post that gets delivered during a two week stint. Most of it comes from places like this. Occasionally my wife criticizes my arrogance for falsely creating a town that exists two weeks out of the year. Five years running and the post office doesn’t seem to mind. It hasn’t caused a problem with the mail. The running joke gives me a chuckle as I dot the last ‘i’ and cross the final ‘t’ in my signature of the day. Baby red gives me a pointed look across the counter before reviewing my entry.

“I’m sorry Mr. but we only have one room left. It’s the… Tech-n… Oh wait, there must me a mistake.” She shuffles about the backboard of the tiny space looking frantically. Standing up on tiptoes as her tiny fingers trace up and down the wall filled with hooks and keys in no particular order. Finally feet land firmly in one place and in a huff she spins with a prize in hand. “No. I’m afraid this is it. Room 315. Technicolor Dream. Where no one dares to dream. Sleep ends up in screams. Night becomes a fright.” The thought trails off and the words disappear from little Red. Before I can attempt to ask ‘what the hell’ she means, down flies an oversized key attached to a rainbow luggage tag. Engraved in the bronze are the words ‘Technicolor Dream’ with the faded hues of a carved rainbow that lies behind the name. “Up the hall and around the corner you’ll find an elevator. Have a goodnight.”

Sleep eludes me. Madness of the mind creeps inward slowly. Heart pounds with panic. Breaths quick and shallow form erratic sounds. Cheap room like a thousand others begs for a chance to be refashioned. Several books on dentistry and unspeakable circus acts later the cheap bed is ransacked with my literature. Daylight begins to coat the room as I pace the floor. The room is an oversized tomb and the walls are nothing more than a saturated pool of overexposed blood. No rainbows. No multi-brightened hues to welcome the souls. Stark red walls drenched with color to the point of melting climb upwards with hidden secrets of former guests. Guests who may have found quiet and eternal slumber in the dark recesses of the room. The cool floor meets the heel of my feet with a gentle comfort. Calmly with a serene moment of relax I lean against a wall and take in the entirety that surrounds. Tired eyes watch the walls shift up and down with a new pattern amid the vivid sea of color.

Backward arches my body towards the illusion. Cool walls run from the top of my neck down the base of my spine. Soothing circles spin around and around as though there were a thousand tiny fingers massaging my tired bones. In a jump outward thrusts a phantom limb from the crimson expanse of nothingness. Reaching. Missing my arm by an inch before retreating into the wall. My exhausted mind can barely gather a thought before outward reaches another followed by three more. Arms created from the same material that wraps the saturated walls. Slick, shiny and securely wrapping around my body while they spring forth from a sea of order. Torso locked. Arms. Legs. Face. All in a battle for freedom. Phantom limbs growing and pushing. Fingers find themselves in mouth. Gagging and restricting the passage of air through a shift of the head. Sinking into the smooth red stillness becoming less of me and more a part of nothingness as my body is disappearing into the plush gorgeousness of the room.

fuzzy. 2010.

Blurry. When I think there is no more of me left, I’m awakened to the sound of shrill bird screaming me to life. The scream fills and falls, sounding the alarm as it bellows out. Sound presses my mind further and further until I make the mental connection. Answer the phone. Groggy and full of hesitation I pick up the receiver. Eyes make out an unusual image before me. The dark outline of a square pillow fades into the strange whiteness of the bed. Picking up the receiver and the voice on the other end begins “Good Morning sir. This is your 11 am wake-up call. I apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced while staying with us. Please feel free to fill out the complaint form located in your room. However we hope you enjoyed your stay…” Yet all I can hear are the same words repeated over and over like subliminal messages forming beneath the prescripted jargon. “Did you sleep? Did you dream? Did you have a fright last night?” I’m resting amidst a white ground beneath a sea of blood that threatens to consume me. Hands reaching out from every direction. Waves surrounding the drowning victim. The illusion appears to descend upon me until the voice once again rips a hole back into reality. “Sir? Are you still there? Sir, check out will be promptly at Noon.”

First room. I’m not loving it. It was like a guinea pig. It’s certainly not my favorite. However, taking a chance and pushing myself to create something different is the point. As that should be the point of it all. I’m not feeling this tale either. What do I know? Headache always complicates things. For now, I’m still recovering. Not complaining about the pain. Mind over matter. I can relax. I’m actually enjoying the relaxation at this moment. Something I never do. Thinking about splitting the rooms into two groups… among a plethora of other things that are being pushed aside while my mind focuses on relaxing the muscles in my neck.  Enjoy. m.

*I wanted this to be up last night. And it should have by me but 1117pm, then 1139pm, and finally 12am rolled around. The computer decided to be continually difficult so I chose my health over the frustration and let it be. No more outbursts. Well, maybe somewhere down the line. Give me time. Personal Journey. I always hated that my first reaction was anger. Thankfully it no longer is. I’m still changing but still very much here.

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