You don’t want to go in there. Into the room of disappearing artifacts. Where the portraits, clocks, locked metal and wooden cabinets continuously disappear and reappear as slightly altered relics or in another location in the room or somewhere else outside the room completely. Old steel grey furniture with green and brown pleather seats and seat backs. Just a few classic banker’s lamps adorned a small variety of old-fashioned desks.
I was there looking for a job. Talking to a bloke who looked a bit like Ricky Gervais. “I worked at Fort Meade and I spent four years in the service,” I explained, trying to gain some kind of reaction to my request for employment. I was denied by “Ricky” again and again. I tried to leave but I noticed my jacket was missing, then my pants. On a hanger I saw an old lady’s blouse with withered paper sewn within the seam. A few handwritten notes and letters with my name on them. The paper was worn, torn and turning a dark yellow as I tried to read the text.
A young man approached me and took me away from his boss’ desk. As I stood I noticed that I was now dressed in only black socks, white boxers and a white wife beater. I sat down dizzily. On occasion the lightbulbs flickered as clocks continued to disappear and reappear in different locations with different times on their faces. Cabinets moving location, the ghost-like opening and closing of their drawers. These drawers held objects. Lost socks, cell phones, watches, hundreds of buttons and a thousand keys. This is the room where apparently everything lost is sorted and very rarely returned to their proper owners.
He whispered to me, “We knew you were coming here. You printed something out in 1996 about your intentions and this explains about your clothes. That desktop you used along with that old printer. We knew already from the database that someone was coming here. Today is the day of your arrival. You’re here now. Didn’t you read the sign outside? You don’t want to go in there? That ring a bell?”
I shouted, “So the keys are inside all the machines?” He almost hit me as he motioned me to shut up as others glared at us briefly before returning to their paperwork. I tempered my voice and astonishingly declared, “But what about philosophy? What about God? What about living a life focused on caring for Mother Earth and the environment”
To which he replied, “What about it?” And after a long pause with an exhaled sigh delivery he stated under his breath, “Welcome to what’s behind the curtain.”