The Room of Death
There is a room in my house, tucked away quietly in the corner, with a bed in it. I often come here, to sit and watch, how different things are from the sidelines.
It is not my room, but every now and then, I make it mine. It is the room of death.
Things are… different here. Perceptions laid askew, reality turned upside down, then sideways twice, for good measure. I don’t mean that the roof is on the ground. Not like that, no. More as if I was watching everything flip itself inside out.
Especially when I look out through the door, just a few feet away. It’s always open, and I can see well into the next room, and beyond, full of what ifs and if onlys. ‘If’ doesn’t exist here ,and I can never tell if they’re real. Who’s to know if this is real, anyway. Who’s to know if I’m real?
It’s about a minute, an hour, or a night trapped in time. You feel nothing here, most days when you come in, you don’t feel yourself. It’s where you come for that very emptiness, to stop feeling. To stop caring. To stop.
The price is death, though. You won’t notice till you’ve walked out again, but you smell of death. I know, because I’ve smelt of death. It’s a faintly sweetish smell, but overpoweringly evocative… Unpleasant even, laced with so many promises… Of peace, of reunion, of rest.. And nearly all of them as malignant as beguiling. There is not one worth taking death up for. Not willingly, at least.
And I smell of death. When i leave, it’s all over me. On my clothes, on my skin. I bathe thrice a day to get it off, and hope that it’ll leave me alone and unblemished. So it does, obediently. The tarnish isn’t something you and I can see anyway. It runs deeper than that.
And it calls you back.
It calls you back, every few weeks or so.
Before you know it, you’ve strayed out of the cheery corridors of normalcy, into that strange, strange room. With its barred windows, and locked doors. The cupboards full of dusty books. The table, the chair. And the bed.
But what a sleep you find awaits you, on that broad mattress, where it’s never too hot or too cold. My feet go numb, when they touch the floor. So deliciously numb, the nothingness, the soundlessness. The stillness and the bed, in that room of death. They call me, they call out to me every time I stay in colors too long. There is a bit of me that belongs there, and finds no rest amidst the confusion, the chaos of light. And so I return, to the room of death.
Maybe this will be the last time.
The Open Door
The door was always open
I preferred the dark, though
Needles in the shadows,
Thoughts were no one should go,
That dark is a good friend
There are dancing figures on the wall
Some spilling onto my bed,
Some laughing about the dead
Pin pricks glinting off the red,
Those dancing figures are good friends
There were crosses on the window
Tossed, tangled blankets on the floor
Whispers calling out for more,
Drowning out the galloping roars,
Those whispers are good friends
Eventually it’ll all end
The pillow indent that knows me
The thumping, straining heart beat,
Pumping, draining habitually,
That straining heart is my friend.
I can lay here, I can watch,
Light spilling in through the crack
Inch by inch, pushing my shadows back,
I’d like the world to fade to black
Black Is a very good friend
But that damned door will have his way
Needles and pinpricks, then, just for today..
A story and a poem. I wonder, does that make a story poem?
A secret for you, from my secret room. Hush….