Time passes slowly in a quiet place without windows. How do you know when the sun had risen or if the moon has set? With nothing but time on my hands I inventoried what I had in my possession. First of all that big question: What did I have in my pockets?
Pockets emptied: a handful of coins, a pocket knife with three blades, eyeglass screwdriver, lego block, marble, pen, wallet with plastic cards and receipts, and a package of lozenges. Nothing unique or obviously precious like a ring of power. Apparently I am not a hobbit – or at least not THAT one.
I take that back. A pocket knife is always useful. It can cut fruit, trim nails, scrap surfaces, slice paper, and turn screws. It is the jack-of-all-tools to make and fix things when no other tool is available. Okay it doesn’t work so well as a wrench or a hammer. But it can help you make a wrench or a hammer!
Anyway what I need right now was a screwdriver to adjust the brightness on this dingy old monitor. Tweak, tweak. And squeak, squeak. Crackle and spark and fiat lux Ala screen. That is my fancy way of saying it worked.
Almost instantly across the screen popped the words to make me shiver: “Hello. You are not alone.”
How is that to make a man’s hope rise firmly into place? It is what we all want to hear no matter where we are: solitary or in a crowd. I waited for something more, anything more. There was only silence and a blinking cursor. Had I broken my connection to whatever world I had touched with my earlier scribbles?
Did I frighten away those names that had sparked across my screen earlier? Overly aggressive in my desire to connect, find some land for my wandering soul? Perhaps I should not have spoken them aloud? The spirits that exist inside this communication terminal may be cautious and shy. The naming of names a sin of vanity.
“Hello?” I typed in hope.
“Are you there?” I typed in yearning.
For now there is nothing. I continue in this solitary confinement, marooned here in this 12 by 12 room. It is nice enough I guess – warm chocolate hardwood, and pale orange walls. A futon for a bed. A writing desk and an old computer. It needs some pictures on the walls.
Well it isn’t just this room – there is a small adjoining washroom for bodily needs. An en-suite is what I think it is called. But that is for the end-process of living and excreting. I grow hungry here. I should try the door to see if there is anything beyond this space. Do I dare? What if the beings that brought me here are lurking outside? Yet I guess if they wished me harm I wouldn’t be even here with this old monitor and keyboard speaking to the emptiness of somewhere else.
Hello? Hello? I keep repeating myself. I need to eat, but I cannot pull myself away from this screen and the hypnotic cursor. What if I leave and somebody tries to speak with me? What if I miss it?
Damn it all and this weak body – off I go before I faint. Please if you can read these words – speak to me! Tell me you have been here. Please.