I somehow appeared in a room some would call a Section 8 Hobbit hole. I mean, it was compact, contained, cramped and, well…small. No matter how many times I’m there, it still manages to be peculiar. The room was so small you could fit a soda can between my head and the ceiling. If I stretched my arms out, they would touch the walls. There was something else off about the room, other than a small hole in the ceiling with dripping water from God knows where and landing on the floor in a strange, rhythmic fashion. There was— I cannot stress enough how off-putting that this was in there— a TV on the wall.
To take my mind off my predicament, I decided to sit on the floor and watch the TV. As soon as the button on my back pocket tapped the floor. Snap: the TV turned on. The situation was already weird and I obviously had no semblance of control nor understanding of what was happening, so I figured I might as well not think about it. However, things got radically odder once I saw what was on the screen.
It was me. I was sitting with my friends talking, laughing, and chatting. I thought to myself: Look at that idiot. What am I doing? What’s wrong with me? Why am I doing that?
I started to feel like Siskel and Ebert critiquing a shitty film performance by an atrocious actor.
“Look at this performer’s execution. It reeks of desperation, insecurity, and attention grabbing with nothing worthy of such actions. I absolutely agree, Roger, and that’s why we give this performance two thumbs down and two middle fingers up.”
And then Siskel and Ebert get a run for their money because as soon as I left the screen, the shot stayed on my friends and they said things like, “What an idiot. Why’s he like that?” and “What’s wrong with him?”
I couldn’t handle any more of my friend’s Statler and Waldorf schtick, so I took the remote that was right beside me and tried to change the channel. To be honest, a small part of me wanted to see if I could get Netflix, so I can watch “The Crown”, but I digress. I grabbed it and changed it, but no Netflix. It was me, in a completely different scenario, but still the same dissection and judgment of me. What was odd was that I had never heard of these conversations before now. It was as if they were rewrites to a script. New lines for actors to try out to pack a punch for the audience.
I grew nauseated from watching my own foolishness and people’s view of my foolishness, so I tried to turn the TV off, but it didn’t work and I could still see those images of myself and hear the voices on a constant loop. I rose and ran to the door. I banged on it, yelling “GET ME OUT OF HERE.” However, their voices and my thoughts grew louder and louder. “What’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with me? What an idiot.”
Then as the critiques gained volume, the dripping water from the ceiling turned into a rushing stream that flooded the entire room. The rising water captured my ankles then my legs. I still banged at the door hoping someone will let me out of this watery hellhole. The water reached high enough to traverse through my nasal passage. The air slowly, but surely, left the room and, more painfully, my body. My breathing became more strained with every breath. I slowly closed my eyes and ultimately failed at keeping the water out of my lungs until I hear,
“Yeah, what’s up?” The flooding water going in my nose transforms into the sweet aroma of my latte and croissant. I look around and I see the baristas and the patrons going about their business.
“You okay? I was walking by and I saw you just sitting here doing nothing.”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I was just in my head. That’s all.”
“Ok. So I’ll see you at Lisa’s grad party in a few hours, right?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there.”
“Alright. Well, I gotta go get ready. See ya there.”
“ Yea, See ya.”
Then I am back in that room.