Is it supposed to stop? I should have left several hours ago, when I wanted to. But as always, I let the duty, or perhaps my presumption of duty, cause me to disregard by instincts. I make the usual assumption that if the weather was that bad, they’d let us know. Tell us, me, to go home. Looking out the window, I can see the snow piling up on the roof of the car, swirling around the parking lot, now a white desert.
I’m used to being alone here, I’m a night watchman, security guard they call us, but I’ve yet to figure out why. I don’t know what there is to guard. I spend the night primarily monitoring a number of screens that display areas of the building. They might as well be images painted on the screen for all the changes I see. Come to think of it, the only thing I’ve ever seen out of the ordinary was an animal one night. Thought it was an animal. It was a big rat, or maybe a raccoon. It had big eyes that seemed to glow. It looked right into the camera, as if it knew I was there.
I walk around the building every few hours, just to have something to do. Sitting all night makes it so I can’t sleep. I don’t know why, but I get these cramps that makes me have to get up and walk them off. Then I’m up and know from experience, I won’t be able to fall back asleep. Nothing to do then but watch the world go by, and that just bores me. It’s the season where there’s not much to do outside, so I start to feel claustrophobic feelings.
I don’t have any hobbies really. Don’t have the patience for it. Tried doing puzzles but it makes no sense. Putting all those pieces together to get a picture you just take a part after all that work, and put back in the box like you never did a thing. Less stressful ways to waste time. Andy the day guy, says he glues his to cardboard. He’s got one hanging on the wall. The humidity made it curl, a few of the pieces fell off, and it now looks like its got something like small pox scars.
It’s still snowing. Not the little flakes, but the big wet ones. The kind of snow that kills people. Tomorrow there will be a story about people who had heart attacks from shoveling. Then they go on to tell you how to shovel, so you don’t have a heart attack yourself. Seems like maybe it would do more good if they told you about how to shovel, before it snowed, but then that’s why I don’t watch much what goes on. It just makes me angry.
If the snow keeps up, I might be stuck here. Happened once before a few years ago, seems like a few years ago anyway. It’s OK, can be bored here as well as home. At least I get overtime here. I get up every so often and walk around, exercise keeps me awake. They keep most of the doors here locked. I, to tell the truth, don’t really know what they do here. None of my business really. I had to take a course when I first got hired on how to deal with emergencies. They never said what kind, but how I was supposed to call the fire department, or police, but only after I called this one supervisor guy who I never met. Saw him once, I think. Seemed kind of strange, but then it’s none of my business how the place is run, or what they do.
I try the doors every night just to see. They are always locked. Tonight it was different though. The last door before you get to the end of the hall, was open. I didn’t know if I should go in, but then it was different than before. A light was on, I could see it from under the door. Usually when I turn the knob, nothing. This one turned all the way. I heard the click of the slide come out of the jamb; surprised me.
I didn’t know if I should go in to see, or just pretend nothing was different. I guess I got curious. I always wondered what went on here. It’s like it has something secret, or I wouldn’t be here protecting what ever it is.
I pushed the door open and there was nothing in the room. No desk, no chair, no file cabinets, no pictures. There was nothing in this room. There was a door towards the back though. I didn’t know if I should see about it, but it was curious. I moved slowly towards it. I wondered if there were any cameras in the room. I looked around but didn’t see any.
I tried to turn the handle on the door, and it turned. I didn’t know if I should open it or not, but I couldn’t not look; I’d come that far. The room, or whatever it was, was dark. I thought it was maybe a closet for storage or something like that. I felt the wall for a light switch. The blocks were cold, and then I felt it. This box sticking out by itself. I felt the switch and pushed it up.
The room seemed to blink at me, like when the overhead lights in the hall first come on. Several times I could see something, then nothing, and then something again. The color was blue, and then the next time this iridescent pink, like a florescent tube flamingo I’d seen once. The room finally stopped changing and turned a weird purple and seemed to breath. The light would grow in brightness, then settle back, then come back bright again. Not start and stop like, but slowly, like it was growing and then shrinking.
I didn’t know if I should turn off the light, close the door and forget all about it, or wait and see what was going to happen. Then this music starts to play. It was the sound of violins, but more like the sound was coming through an organ. It too seemed to grow and shrink with the light. Like it was alive.
I just stood watching the light grow and fade along with the music for what seemed like hours, and yet only seconds. The room from what I could see, was also empty. There was a door on the other side of the room, like the one I was standing in. I was afraid to go into the room. I don’t know why. The light and music seemed to make me feel like I wasn’t really there, like I wasn’t really me.
I’ve heard about those out of body experiences people have, where they are outside themselves watching themselves. It was like that except I wasn’t outside myself, the room was me and I was the room. I could feel the light pulsating through me along with the music. I’d grow faint and then as if I was given a different brain, I started thinking of things I not only didn’t understand but had no reason to.
The theory of relativity, string theory, distant galaxies, even infinity, all made sense. I could see how they worked, what they meant, and then they would grow foggy and I was left with only the wonder.
When the light was at its peak, the music, and my thoughts one, I felt as though I no longer had a body. I was lighter than air, lighter than a thought, and then as the light subsided, I could feel my body return, settle back down. I wanted to leave, and I didn’t.
I thought about waiting until the next peak and then thinking about what was happening. Finding the answer so that I would know the answers to all of life’s questions about life, the universe, and how it worked. But then I realized when I came back down, I wouldn’t understand what I’d learned. I didn’t know what to do, but knew I either had to leave, or maybe I never would.
For some reason I thought of the snow and could feel what it was like being a snow flake. I could feel myself falling, changing shape, becoming something beautiful, and then becoming something feared, dreaded, ugly.
I found myself looking into the sky. It was like being in one of those globes where everything is swirling around. It was then I heard the voice.
“Are you alright? What you doing out here? You’ll freeze to death. Come on, let me help you. You must have fallen. Were you trying to shovel the walk? That’s not your responsibility. You shouldn’t do that, you could have been hurt, even died.”
Her words kept swirling around me as I attempted to remember where I was, what I was doing, how I came to be inside this globe, looking up at the snow falling to the beat of her heart.
Then she opened the door at the far side of the room. I could see someone sitting at a desk before a number of screens with what looked like pictures of rooms and hallways painted on them. It was snowing. Not the little flakes, but the big wet ones.