In the corridors outside I can hear footsteps receding softly—there they go, receding into chambers, chambers that I have never managed to find, although I know they exist somewhere in this portentous building, the echoes they create seem to be a physical lasting memory, a manifestation certainly.
I sit here at this table squinting my eyes at the glaring fluorescent light; all three of them are burning tightly into me like fingers. Outside there is a cold light reflecting on the surfaces, (but the expansionist view is the idea I can’t quite get rid of), the thin light hits my arms I notice, making no impression or change in the atmosphere in the room.
I’m sat in the chair nearest the window, but more importantly in the chair furthest away from the door, and the door has been opening continuously for at least five minutes now, but no one or nothing comes through it, this is turning into a purely sedentary escapade I write onto this small pad. The curved edges of these tables I have come to realize re-assert a calming pleasure for the palms of my hands, and then I slap the surface six times on each calloused hand.
The echoes in the corridor resonate around this small white cave, I’m keeping my eyes firmly on the door as I am now wholly convinced of the presence of (ice-ghosts-aliens?) intersecting these parallel timelines, I look at my hands, in my left hand there is a filthy glass, empty, encrusted with saliva and lemon rind, bits of torn paper napkins are scattered around my feet.
I’m walking in circles, sometimes fast until I become dizzy or sick, then more deliberately, weaving intricate patterns to gain credibility from my transparent audience? And I’m gaining the nerve to go for the doorway because as I sit here the room has changed its appearance, the room now resembles a 1978 Northern English council office, with windows in wood frames, wire mesh in the glass which I find strangely calming and reassuring lulling me into a knowledge of the future and the light around me is pale and thin, it’s as if a weak sun has bled itself into these abandoned tombs.
I’m approaching the door and I’m noting the finger marks in dried gloss paint on the the door frame, the smell of static carpets and strong perfume float on the fetid air.
I have managed to leave the room. The startling quack of voices is growing louder as I move down the thinly spaced atrium, it sounds like loud echoing voices in an empty room, louder now as I step in front of an anonymous ply-wood door, there is definitely someone in there, I’m pressing myself up to the door, my breath reflecting into me like death or ice cream, I fumble for the handle and slowly turn it. There in the centre of the strikingly empty room, slightly left of center actually, stands a man bellowing into a hollowed out lambs carcass, he glances up sharply as I enter, there is a peculiar tension between us, his voice comes straight from a badly recorded ‘80s documentary, and he calmly begins to explain the intricate workings of an atomic reaction.
I turn away from the room in fear or confusion and walk over to the lifts; my reflection in the unpolished surface of the doors is distorting my image into fractal errors.
As I ride in the lift downwards I’m trying to imagine a conversation I could have with my mother if the walls became treacle, became mist, I’m standing in the centre of the lift perfectly in line with the join of the closed doors and stretching my arms as far as I can just to touch both walls either side of me, then without the lift moving or stopping or ceasing to exist I walk through the open doorway into the same room as this all began. The doorway to my left has just closed and the lights are flickering, C.I.A interference I immediately think, the light outside is a little darker now and the echoing voice in the room down the corridor is now larger than ever and I wander over to the table and in the absence of anything scrape the chair on the filthy wooden floor and pull out a crumpled pouch of tobacco and extract one slightly twisted pre-rolled cigarette.
In the corridors outside I can hear footsteps receding softly.