A clang rattles somewhere in the distance and I’m suddenly awake and sweating more than I am usually. This perspiration, like a gooey afterbirth, covers me fresh from my slumber, as I realize I am in a world I do not remember existing in.
The fluorescent lights flicker and my temples throb with pain and incomprehension; my mouth’s desiccation reminds me that I have no idea how long I have been here. I’m truly parched, my mouth tastes dry and filthy all at once, as if an obese individual filed their sloppy craw with a handful of rancid sand and spent the entire time I was asleep open-mouth kissing me while their sweaty rolls scrubbed across every one of my surfaces, like brushes in an ineffective and disgusting car wash.
Fate has begun to torture me; I’m covered in moisture, that I’m beginning to suspect may not all be entirely mine, but my mouth is bone dry. It’s become a smelly, little desert full of the taste of rancid yawns, congealed chunks of unidentified meat, and a wicked sinus infection that makes my voice sound like a clinically-depressed John C. Reilly—all symptoms I had only experienced two years ago during my most recent exclusively-bologna cleanse.
With my hot, little mouth aching for sweet relief, a remark I knew I should have phrased better, even if only for my inner monologue, I suddenly stop and I’m frozen in fear. My blood runs cold, even though my confines are excessively humid; I look at a hanger with my shirt and jeans dangling from it—I don’t remember changing clothes, but it appears that someone else may. I’m terrified and feeling the potential embarrassment already, like if someone puts this on TV and America become privy to my ever-apparent penchant for self itching and my tendency of killing boredom by describing overly-erotic fictitious adventures of Henry Winkler and a promiscuous body pillow who just always seems to be begging for it.
How did my clothes get changed? My captors must have motivation; maybe human trafficking, maybe they’re preparing for an annual organ harvesting festival, maybe it’s mere disdain for my now-apparent lack of style—it’s anyone’s guess truly. Also, why did they leave the new pants at my ankles; is this how this sicko gets his or her kicks and yuks?
The odor of my confines has become overwhelming. It’s like peppery mold crossed with a pig farm, just enough that my dehydrated tongue can taste it with every breath. It’s a thick, stale almost fog that lingers, however, suddenly a fan kicks on and my focus becomes sharper.
The fan roars and the cell becomes more bearable. I change back into my clothes, thinking this will irritate my captor into explaining these cramped quarters, as no explanation or escape is clear. I’m scouring for clues, hints, anything that could give some insight to the purpose of this. Suddenly, one wall starts to rattle and muffled screams start coming from the outside. The light flickers again before shutting off for good and leaving me in pure darkness.
Unrestrained terror rushes through my body, I’m desperately trying to snap out of this nightmare, but the authenticity sets in—I’m conscious and far too powerless for this to be a dream. The reality is setting in and I’m immersed in fear and uncertainty.
The banging intensifies and the dampened shrieks build. I’m freezing on the inside and sweating on the outside but neither has my attention. This is my fate; whatever is on the other side of that wall, one way or another, will be my escape from this purgatory. My stomach flips like I’m on a carnival ride gone haywire, I reach for the mysterious clothes that I had shed and cough up bile out of nervousness.
Memories flood back, little, petty items I wish I could take back, now fully appreciating the brevity of delicate nature of an individual’s existence. I’m breaking down, suddenly filled with the thought that I’ve contributed nothing to my former world except troves of Who’s The Boss fan fiction, more than my share of sewage, and hundreds of discarded chicken buckets.
A second voice joins and the thundering clamor is broken by a shrill, piercing sound of metal on metal. Unexpectedly, a calm washes over me and I feel ready to accept my fate. With a low crank the wall breaks away and the small cell becomes flooded with a blinding light.
My pupils contract and soon I realize I’m staring down a large man holding a staff or some sort and a smaller man with a name tag that reads “Dennis.”
“Are you kidding me; why the crap were you in there for so long? Are you that selfish? Jeez, are you telling me we broke the door down for nothing?” starts an irate Dennis in a whiny voice, “You’re going to have to pay for those clothes you know.”
The larger man, now disinterested, take his what appears to be a crowbar and shuffles away. I stand up and Dennis continues his diatribe, but I couldn’t care less. I’m not dead or dreaming, I just fell asleep on the toilet after dropping some seriously wicked dump-dump at J.C. Penney’s again and they had to break down the bathroom door out of concern for me not being dead and the potential lawsuit.
What, I don’t see anything wrong with my actions. Doody calls and I’m now recalling that I was wondering what I would look like wearing the Hawaiian shirt and tuxedo pants I took in there—I’m now remembering that look isn’t as hilarious as I had initially thought.
Dennis is still going at it—something about how I’m going to have pay for the door and the clothes now because the garments have been “irrecoverably and detestably sullied” from my aggressive bathroom habits.
Yeah, you’d think this experience would change me for the better, but, really, I’m just going to hide these puke-riddled clothes, avoid paying J.C. Penney’s, and the flee to go eat a family-sized bucket of chicken by myself in the food court.