Waking up wasn’t so easy for her today. It wasn’t just because she hadn’t slept well. No. It wasn’t that at all.
She looked around her. It was something she did constantly, even in her sleep. It wasn’t habitual. That would indicate she had lost some control over it, but that wasn’t it at all.
What she saw eventually produced a mind numbing effect. There wasn’t anything grand about it. The space she inhabited would make any mind want to scamper into a place where the senses could no longer be acknowledged.
She welcomed the absence of thought and feeling. It was better than what had occupied her mind and senses only a few days ago. Could it have really only been two days ago? No, it couldn’t have been. It had to be far longer than that. If not a year, then at least a few months. But, the only telltale sign were the marks she left behind whenever she chose to try and open the door.
A door she knew she had stared at for hours, upon hours whenever she had finally allowed her mind to leave her. Did those hours add up to a day, or two days, or a week? There was no way of knowing. The only thing she was absolutely sure of was what she saw when she looked around her.
Looking wasn’t the only thing she did. She had to try the door again, if only to reassure her numbed mind that it was indeed closed beyond her ability to open it. Coming awake after having slept was harder than trying to open the door. For a brief instance, she would believe her situation was only temporary. Her dreams had allowed her to believe it was true. In her dreams the door would open when she turned the knob. In her dreams, she could walk out the door into a whole other world. When she woke, her brain, though numb and lifeless, would fight hard to stay within the land of her dreams.
Waking was like a stepping out of heaven and entering hell. She wondered at times if it felt anything at all how a baby would feel being forced into the bright cold world after living in a warm dark environment that provided everything it ever needed. The stark reality of it was enough to make her mind snap.
The movement of standing was harsh and brutal. After sitting or lying in the same position for hours, her body protested against any movement. Sometimes, she thought she could hear her joints and muscles scream but in reality there was no sound, only the painful firing of the neurons as she forced her limbs to straighten and hold her diminishing weight.
Her clothing hung limply upon her slight frame. A frame that once held an abundance of flesh. She had surpassed any feeling of emptiness or need her body once produced. Luckily there were no mirrors for her to witness what she had become.
The cold tile of the floor registered upon her naked feet. Every time her foot touched the floor her brain registered a slight jolt of surprise. Was it really so impossible to believe she could feel anything anymore, let alone the coolness of the tiles? Why was that so unbelievable and shocking to her mind? Was it because her mind had ceased to register how cold she really felt inside and out?
It wouldn’t be so unbelievable if there had been no more remnants of what her life used to be like. She didn’t acknowledge her past anymore, or it was a rare occasion when she did. Moments like this when she couldn’t stop her mind from examining everything around her, seeing it for what it really was.
Allowing herself to believe it, now that was a different story. She preferred to believe it was just her imagination, that this was really her dream life when she slept and her dreams were her real life. But waking always inevitably shattered the illusion she tried to weave around herself.
The coolness of the door knob barely registered as her fingers closed around it. The motion automatic to turn it. This was like a test she performed each time she woke. A test her brain devised to reinforce her captivity. Her inability to go anywhere but turn around and witness the expanse her mind conjured before her. Each time the knob didn’t turn, didn’t budge, didn’t wield the results she remembered from her dreams, she would turn a hundred and eighty degrees, like a soldier being commanded to do an about face.
For one brief second before her hand and her mind would register the refusal of the door knob to move, all her hopes and dreams would be allowed to awaken. For one split second, she would truly feel the joy, the excitement, the astounding belief that this would all be over. For that split second, she lived again in a world of never ending, unbelievable possibilities. For one split second, she wanted to dance a jig, sing a joyful song, and smile. For just one split second, she would hold the door knob, suspended in time, but only for one split second. Anything longer than that was torture. Torture for her soul.
Reviewing her surroundings was in essence like taking inventory. A mat, pushed into the farthest corner. Upon it, a thread worn blanket, extolling its endless use. A white porcelain sink floating upon the light grey cinder block wall, next to it a cold porcelain bowl jutting out from the same cold grey cinder block wall, each with their shiny silver tubing for input and output of the sustenance called water.
There was only one other oddity. An encasement within the wall which at times provided sustenance of the somewhat solid variety. Nothing else inhabited the room, except for her. In time, even she would cease to exist in solid form. Maybe she would remain here as a ghost once her body finally released its bonds upon this existence.
This was her captivity. The world of her own creation. This is where she would live out the rest of her days. The only contact, the only proof there was a world outside of her cold cinder block room was the delivery of the almost inedible matter within the encasement in the wall. She saw and spoke to no one other than the voices residing in her head.
There was no tomorrow. There was only now. This moment. This…. This… that was right now. It was her whole existence. It was all that kept her from going insane.