by Jeff Geiger
the man wakes up white walls of the room form a hexagon around his pod chamber gas seeps out of the hatch onto the shiny linoleum floors swinging his feet over the side he slowly remembers how to walk i guess it is like they say who say what did i just remember he moves towards the door and opens it alarms sound lights flashes confused panics runs following the hexagonal hall its empty no other doors no other people is this a prison what is a prison rounding a corner he hits a plate of glass behind it he sees a baby rocking in a cradle on a porch sunlight grass summer but who is taking care of it why is it trapped.
screeching alarms urge him to move onward and face another transparent wall it is similar to his chamber an old man lays in a hospital bed the machine beeps beeps beeps his heart is nothing but a line of pixels and the programmer presses delete the computation ends the body convulses and pauses bang bang why why help help someone let him live life never returns.
the next museum exhibit displays a mirror no himself in a polo standing with wife and kids and peace and happiness and normal slightly younger before this they are me this is me how can—vomit pushes from the throat out the mouth the dam does not hold the swell tremble sway alarm and flashes do no good i try to communicate but im not here but im here i run.
the father has his back to the glass becoming an ominous figure of fear and grace a ball moves back and forth between him and i am a freckled kid who knows not why his father can only play on the weekends when he wants to play with his friends but he never sees his father so he unwillingly tosses the white ball with the con man rapist thief and liar who earnestly loves him.
i am done with college in my new york apartment what is new york where is new york i sit on a couch not knowing what happens not knowing what happened i fall to the floor hang my head low and cry tears drip and fall look so beautiful in the lights i want to end it but there is no end but i died not here standing up i look down the hall to the last room.
i am older now with gray along my sides like mr fantastic i remember mr fantastic why shake of the head and the superhero is no more he never was heroes and hope are as helpful as disconnected telephones i notice that the older me is still me nothing has changed he is still in the room i never escaped i will never escape i have no more tears to shed each step down the hall sounds in time with the alarm and the lights light my true self i go in and shut the door and lie down and silence.