Weekend Theme – Empty Hallways lurks a Burden


“Honey, what are we doing in here?” “Honey, I don’t like this place.” “Honey, where the fuck is Marvin?” “Honey, your mother is a bitch, I hate her.” “Honey, are you listening to me?” “Honey, I’m going out of my mind here. We don’t talk to each other anymore.” “Honey, I’m scared.” “Honey, I’m having another baby.” “Honey, do you even care?” “Honey, Marvin’s flu is acting up again.” “Honey, I did love you.” “Honey, I want a divorce.” “Bert, I hate your fucking guts. I’m leaving and I’m taking the children. You’re crazy, just like your father.”

I guess she was right. I am crazy. I let go and don’t even know why. I let go of my family and there is no turning back now. I have dug the grave was meant for me, and now everyone is gone. Like dust in the wind. Like the dust in the hallways of the loony bin; dust in the hallways where footsteps still echo across the linoleum, where it still bounces off the walls. The walls have ears, as you know. It speaks, too. Endless stories of victories and failure, of heart rendering sadness and some more victory. Victory in the smile of the warden prowling these corridors at night, his footfalls as soft as treading on the soft, wet white grainy-soft shore sand. What about the matron with her wicked ways, finding all kinds of silly reasons to manipulate and abuse us, my friends, my father and all those who deserted me when the time came. She even chased away my wife and kids, into the wilderness, never to be seen again. She must be stopped; she was stopped. She still lives, and that is the truth. Both of them. And my father.

Hurt welled up inside of me, and I fell to the floor. My tears started to run down the walls, crept along tiny fissures that gave it its texture. It dripped off the top of the door frames, onto the floor. Drip. Drip. Drip. I crawled on hands and knees, towards the end of the hallway. To that special room with the whitest door of all; christened by the warden himself. I was sure he and the matron was already waiting, the smiles on their faces comforting yet intolerably creepy. My tears flowed down onto the sand that crept beneath my fingers as I squeezed with every forward motion. It caked on my pants and made my knees hurt. I called for my wife. She answered, but in a tone of utter disdain. I called for my parents; I received no answer there. The white door doubled towards me with my every drag. I could not bear to look into the rooms as I passed. I kept my gaze averted, yet I knew what waited to steal my innocence had I snapped and turned to look inside. Girls and boys. Mothers and fathers. Teddies and little cars with its wheels scattered across the floor. Blood and more tears. My Wife and kids. My dad. Dad. I sniffed. The roof sagged and I jumped into a run. The sand beneath my feet was warm, as if gently heated by sun. I heard the ocean calling me. I decided to stay inside. I decided to confront the demons in ‘the special room’.

My hands are clammy. The nape of my neck capered with cold sweat. My hair was wet. The walls were dry. The paint on the roof sifted down on me, and looked like snow. From across a considerable distance, I heard my wife say: “Honey, everything is going to be all right.” I believed her. I waved at her, and I sensed her waving back at me, that beautiful smile still as bright as daylight sun. Like our vacation suns.

I opened the door. My mother and father looked up at me, and beckoned me inside their wholly embrace.



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