Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Room 324

by Erika

I used to live alone alone at Blanco Center. It was this half a century-old (seemed like) residential condo in the heart of Salcedo Village. I worked at an office buidling a 7-minute walk away.

I had to work late for a particular project. So i went home at 4 am, took a quick shower and dived into bed.

I woke up at 7am to take a leak. It felt surreal as if it had just rained inside the room. As I was about to get back to bed, a dark hazy vignette began to close in on my eyes. My head felt light and cold. My hands & knees were heavy. I tried to reach for the couch, any soft landing, then BANG! My head hit the sharp edge of bathroom door. I crashed to the floor, face down. My last memory was of my hand trying to reach for the empty bed.

I woke up with my cheeks on the cold tiles. It was 1:30 in the afternoon. My forehead and right cheek were throbbing. I had huge bruises, circles of blue and yellow. I called the office that I was coming in half day.

I came to work the day after though. I was still a bit dazed. Staring at the computer I thought, what if I had not awaken at all? Would the neighbors smell my decaying body? Or dismiss the stench as just one of the many reeking through it's cracked walls? I remembered how the room smelled when I first inspected it before moving in. It was sour. Like an old man waiting for death. I had thought about urban legends of people dying alone, locked in their houses. The stench would get so potent that neighbors would have to force the door open only to discover unidentifiable remains. Or crimes of passion wherein a woman was killed and buried within the cement walls of her house. Or closer to home, like dying of fatigue doing overtime work. Bah. I should get more sleep.

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