The first time I closed the door—dull brass room “6”—I took my dreams to a quiet alley and shot them, gently. The door stands in the damp brown hallway. I drag through the fetid carpet every evening knowing a whip smart journalist lies dead in a trash bin. Instead, I work in an assembly line. My job is to fit a gear into an assembly, 6,000 times a day. My boss’s job is to fit flesh gears into a corporate assembly, slightly fewer times a day.
Sometimes as I’m pulled through that hallway by tedious routine I hear sounds through the other doors. Those numbers were people once too. People. People who’ve been smothered by those doors. The only remnants of their existence are the muffled sounds of struggle against doloroum. We reside within 6 feet of each other, but we are blind mutes too timid to be found. Through the door across me I can hear a woman sobbing, but she doesn’t want to be found. To be found would mean confessing.
Confessing everything I’ve just confessed. The shame of unmet expectations, of failure, of mediocrity. The desperation of day to day delving. But I've been found, Officer Mort pulled me out of a trash bin today.