Sunday, June 26, 2011
The room is wide, almost shaped like a circle. It is a bit longer on one side, with long white walls that are slick and shiny and look like the kind of thick, extra-strong plastic that is used to make spaceships and other environments designed to withstand extreme temperatures and settings. The only sound is the constant hiss coming through the cooling system, which keeps the space at 68 degrees. The artificial overhead light, which is bright white and perfectly coats every inch of the room in an equal amount of light hits the walls and turns into long strips of illumination.
There are no obvious angles in the room, everything is smooth and so white and perfect it gives the appearance of sterility. There are no designated walls, just one long surface without edges, one smooth line that encompasses me without beginning or end.
A wide blanket of thin, cream-colored carpeting stretches to each edge of the space, it is perfectly clean without any stain or indication of human use. Above it are sparse pieces of white and egg-shell colored furniture. Just a few chairs, a stream-lined loveseat, a smooth table made from the same material as the wall.
There is a small toilet hidden behind a door in the smooth surface of the wall. It resembles the type of small water closet found in airplanes, though it is smaller, just a few feet tall, as though designed for other creatures with smaller limbs or the ability to contort into tiny sizes.
The floor beneath my feet vibrates softy. I can feel the movements of the train that carries me and this portable condo-pod. Everything shakes in soft friction as metal wheels meet the metal rails. Every so often the compartment jerks suddenly, harshly, and I brace myself while standing in the open space beside the narrow stairs that lead to the lower level of the condo-pod.
Along the edges of the upstairs room are many pieces of broken mirror. They line the edges of the wall. Their jagged edges are a sharp contrast to the smooth, controlled design of the room. Some pieces of the mirror are embedded into the wall itself five feet above the carpet.
I can see my reflection in each of them. My brown eyes, pale olive skin, dark hair. I see a thousand images of myself in the room and I think to myself that I must take a picture and remember this moment. It is eternal. It must not be forgotten.