Wednesday, May 23, 2012 By: Unconditionally You

Room 3 (Melissa)

This is an excerpt from a story I worked on many years ago. I found the written version of it (literally in a notebook, done in pen) a few days ago and thought it would be fun to work on this some more. Please be gentle, this is a very rough draft!

I am not sure why I exist in room 3. Honestly, I don't recognize the walls or the beds. Nothing about this place is familiar. This might just be my own personal version of hell, yet somehow that doesn't seem quite right either.

My beliefs center on the existence of God. As a child my mind was flooded with "heaven" and "hell". Somehow I had come up with the idea that all of our names were held in a large, sepulchral black book. This book counted our sins with a black slash next to our names for each sin. Admittedly I probably believed in this book well into my teen years.

Room 3 didn't fit into any belief I'd had or explored in my lifetime.

I knew I was dead. This fact was easily accepted by me even though I had no recollection of the final act. Come to think of it, my life seemed much more surreal than room 3. I easily recalled my children's faces, other people in my life with whom I's had both good and bad relationships and even the career in a local hospital I had for 12 years running the billing department. Still, I couldn't recall other details such as where I had lived or my age. Not that my age mattered, I was dead now. And trapped in room 3.

I awoke in room 3 about two weeks ago. Awoke may not be the right word, more like I was aware again versus being unaware. Room 3 is a hotel room that sits on an interstate in a city whose name I don't recall. What "awoke" me that first morning was a cleaning lady coming into the room.

Her name tag said Irene, she was slightly overweight with blonde hair that was wavy and styled in mullet fashion. Glasses, plain but not unattractive. I notice she is talking to someone in the hall behind her who hands her a fistful of trash bags."Dana, I swear Sammy has something for that skank bar tender. He thinks I don't notice him looking at her like a juicy pork chop but I see 'im!" I hear as Irene walks in the room.

Of course I am astonished that room service has barged into my room without even knocking. Talk about bad customer service! "Excuse me!" I say, quite indignant. Irene stops, looks around for a second with a puzzled look on her face and then goes about emptying the trash cans in the room.

To make a long story short, Irene never responded to my questioning of her intrusion into my room. She left hastily actually and I could tell my scolding had made her leave quickly. I didn't realize that day that she never heard me.

I stayed annoyed with Irene longer than I normally would have because I thought she had so rudely ignored me. Nevermind that her ignoring me didn't make sense. I had made poor Irene so uncomfortable that she never came to clean room 3 again, and that was fine by me. Little did I know at first that it had nothing to do with the words I had said, but more with her feeling of a presence in room 3 that did not want her there.

The first day or two I noticed other odd things besides the rude housekeeper. I couldn't read the words on the newspapers. I tried but it looked like a jumble of odd symbols. I wrote it off as exhaustion and needing new glasses. I also noted that I was abnormally exhausted and I was sleeping for long stretches and several times a day.

In retrospect I can perhaps explain the exhaustion that I was dealing with in room 3. When you are dead it takes more energy and strength to interact with the world around you, much more than when you are alive. Those first days I had used so much energy trying to talk to Irene and trying to read the newspaper that I depleted what little energy I had.

More to come later, my hands are tired from typing now. Eventually our "ghostly" friend meets the next live person to occupy room 3. And discovers how to communicate as well. 

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