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02-07-2011 - The Room

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He came to and saw nothing but too much light. Mush, rather than a brain, seemed to occupy his cranium as his eyes adjusted. "What's going on," he thought looking around. He was seated in a chair in a room. Others were there too. Something clicked and he remembered that there was something important he was supposed to do, but he couldn't remember what it was. As a matter of fact, he realized that he didn't even know who he was, what he was doing there or what this place was.

Panic set in as reality came into sharp focus. "Shit!!!" The thought was involuntarily vocalized and the others looked his way. "OK, get it together...what do I do?" he thought. He didn't want to look like an idiot, but he needed to know what was going on. Necessity forced him out of his seat towards a nice looking lady. "Umm, can you point me to the restroom?" was the only thing he could think of. When she raised her arm and pointed toward the door in the corner he thought that, actually, it might be a good time to see who and what he was.

Fortunately for him, the restroom was unoccupied; he did not recognize the person in the mirror. It was so disturbing, he promptly fell to the floor as all the blood rushed from his brain and vertigo set in. "Breathe dammit!!...come on!...deep slow breaths...everything will be if I have a choice..." As the feeling passed he wondered whether he should even get up. I could contact someone, but I don't know anyone that I remember. "I'll look and ask around some more...someone has to know something."

Examination of the restroom revealed nothing. No windows or doors to anywhere but the room. His pockets were empty; no ID. As nonchalantly as possible he exited the restroom and walked around the room. "This is bullshit!" he thought as he saw no doors, no windows, no clock, no sign of authority, no list of rules and no indication of any purpose. "Must ask someone what's going on," he thought. Looking around he spotted an elderly gentleman who looked like he might know something. As he walked up he put his best foot forward, or attempted to; "Hi, I'm, uh, I'm, uh...well, crap, to be perfectly honest, I don't know who I am or what I'm doing here." He was shocked that such an admission could spew forth unbidden, but what else was he supposed to do? The man smiled and said, "Join the club. At least you know what you don't know."

That threw him for a loop. Not the answer he was expecting. "OK, where are we?" he asked. "Here," the old man said. "Where is here?" he asked with a touch of annoyance. "All we know is within these walls," replied the old man. "Are you freaking kidding me?!" he exclaimed, "I have something I'm supposed to do!" "We all do," said the old man. "So, what are you doing about it?" he asked. The old man went on to explain what they had found, which was little more than speculation.

He explained that everyone in the room had no idea who they were, no memories and had nothing overtly in common except being human and being unique. They thought individually and together that this must be some sort of test. What else could it be? "We couldn't find any answers...hell; we couldn't even find the dang test," the old man breathed with an intense look.

He asked the old man, "Hmmm...well, so what do we do now?" "Whatever you want, as long as it can be done within this room," said the old man. "That doesn't leave much, does it?" he said. "That depends," said the old man. "What do you mean?" he asked. The old man sighed and said "Look, just be patient. Hang out for a while and things will change. Think about everything."

Time passed, or so he assumed. The inability to know had him beating his head against the proverbial wall. At some point he learned acceptance. He wasn't sure if it was a leap of intellect, intuition or willpower, or a surrender to a superior foe. He began to examine the room in earnest. He also compared notes with the others. The room, it turns out, was described somewhat differently by each of them. More surprising was that everyone's ideas were wildly different concerning what was outside of the room. "Don't we come from the same place?" he thought. A sense of urgency iced through his veins as he remembered that he had something to do. "Why now?" he thought. "I don't even know what it is I'm supposed to do!" Some gears were turning, but every potential answer led to a dead-end or speculation.

A review of his limited knowledge rendered a conclusion: "This room is different for everyone and, more importantly, everyone thinks the outside is very different, so we must all be insane or I must be in a bad dream," he thought. This didn't sound right since everything and everyone seemed OK to him. It was too much for far too long. "Man, I give up!! This is complete crap and there is no way out!!!" A mallet seemed to crash into the side of his skull as emotion put the final piece into place: "The room is the test! I can't believe it...the room IS the dang test!!"

He stood up shakily...exuberantly...joyously as the walls of the room began to shimmer and wave into nothingness. His forgotten task was nearing completion. Without the room or walls to block his view, he perceived the Master patiently waiting.

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