an old story about you…

Second Person

You awaken to a door. You have slept in this room most of your life, but this door has never been there before. Moonlight floods in from a bay window and illuminates the solid, ancient frame. A glorious, glowing white oval line from the floor arches nine feet tall at the top. You see yourself in the standing mirror. Tonight, behind the standing mirror, instead of the wall, there is a door.

You have never been this frightened. The door is magnificent. You want to peel off sweaty bed sheets and run to investigate. You are drawn to it. Magnetized and hesitant. The fear is potent. You know there has only ever been a wall behind that mirror. Tonight there is a door. You want to run away. You want to touch it. You are frozen.

Something stirs. A play of light behind the frame. You want to know what is there, but you are afraid of what is waiting behind the door. You have never been this still and quiet. You wait. You stare. Hours pass. The bright sheen diminishes with the dissipating moonlight. You worship. Never before have you been this captivated. The door is alive. More alive than you. More permanent. Poetry. Riveting.

Dawn comes, and you think whatever is behind the door will push it open. In a blink, everything is as it was, and you are no longer sure what that means. You see yourself in the mirror and nothing except the wall behind it. You rush out of bed and topple over the mirror. Glass shatters. The brick and mortar wall is where it has always been. The door is gone.

You need it back. You wish you had touched it. The alarm clock goes off. 7:00 A.M. You do not take your eyes off the wall. The alarm beeps. Beep, beep. Beep, beep. You claw and push, but the door is gone. You shut off the alarm. 7:23 A.M. You are going to be late.

You stumble into the shower and try scalding water. Freezing. The temperature change does not snap you out of it. You are strung out. You can see the door when you close your eyes. One more look in the bedroom to assure yourself it is not there before you leave.

You almost cause multiple accidents on the commute. You put off everything that can wait at work and screw up the required assignments. You do not need caffeine. You are alert, but hazy. You are lost without the door. You yearn for it. You have never worked a longer day. When it is finally over, you run to your car and cut everyone off on the road home.

You are back in the bedroom and staring at the wall. You want an encore. Demand it. Night passes. After midnight, the moonlight cascades through the window, and the door appears exactly as you remember it. You are enthralled by its permanence. The seams and curves hypnotize you. You want to touch it, but whatever is there behind the door stands guard like last night. You are still afraid. You are again frozen. There was no mirage last night. You are not crazy. You feel blessed. Privileged. You are a willing servant, content to revel and bathe in the door’s presence.

You are more lucid than last night. You enjoy the fear. It is feeding on you. You feed on it. The moonlight hits just so, and you swear the door breathes. No sound, only a visual sensation. A bulge, but the door does not open. Less than a second. A blink, but it passes, and you remain still. You cannot move. You are more scared tonight, but the fear is like a drug, and you crave more.

Life. Death. You and the door.  Too soon the moonlight fades. The glow curving around the door disappears. You are afraid it is leaving forever. You want to open the door, but still cannot move. At dawn, it is gone again.

You do not linger this morning. You know now about the night. The moonlight. You will have to endure another day. You will pass it without quitting or being fired. Calm has replaced the uncertainty of yesterday. There was no illusion. It happened again. It will again tonight. You and the door. You are no longer afraid.
Work is a different challenge today. You are content. You tingle. You want to skip and jump and scream, but you do nothing. You do not want to share your secret. Apologies are made. You have not been yourself the past couple of days. Have not been sleeping. When you blink during your explanations, you can see the door. It occurs to you that you have not eaten, but you only hunger for the door.

You are back in the bedroom and staring at the wall. You wish you could speed up time. You decide the room is not right and move everything out of it. You get a chair and a marker and trace the door frame on the wall. Your life has a purpose. You will do whatever it takes. Whatever the door wants. You seat six inches from the wall and wait. Tonight questions will be answered. You are certain.

Lightning sparks around the room before midnight. Thunder. Tonight you will learn what is behind the door. You hope the moon rays will be able to penetrate the storm. Your anxiety passes when the door finally appears. A delicious surprise every time. The rainy darkness accentuates the glow around the frame. You want to stand up, but you are a statue. You do not realize how long you are fighting your body glued to the floor until the pounding rain stops. Clouds part, and bright dawn light beams through the window. You taste blood from a nosebleed.

You burst up and place both palms on the door. You must know. Cold. So cold, but a fleeting sensation. You push. You punch and pound and scream. Your hands bleed. Too late. The door is gone.

You miss work.

…this is your story, you tell me the rest


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