Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Day I

Day I.

The first day of my captivity. Only one mark upon the wall. Others will follow, of that I'm sure. I think my captors left me the nail on purpose, just so I could keep track of the length of my stay. They didn't leave much else to comfort me. A commode is located in the corner. It is made of a single piece of metal, bolted firmly to the floor, with the bolts then welded to the commode. A pipe rises from the back of it and disappears into the wall at a location only slightly higher than the commode's rim. There is no cover, no seat. Nothing that could be taken off. It even lacks a handle for flushing. Instead, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, it flushes automatically and washes any excrement from the day away. I know this because I was thrown in this cell early this morning, as the commode was flushing.

There is no bed. Besides the commode, the only other object in the cell is the metal slab that protrudes from the wall in the opposite corner from the commode. It is built into the wall, firmly mortared into place. If I wanted to sleep, I either have to try and sleep sitting on the slab with my head learning on the wall, or else lay on the concrete floor. There is no window. Light pours in through the bars that make up one side of the cell. The bars look out on a hallway as depressing as this cell, but I can't make out much. The light is blinding and hot, as multiple lights are shone directly into the cell from the hallway. The only refuge from the light is the back of the cell, the part of the cell where the commode and seat reside.

When my captors left me, they only appeared as silhouttes, their features hidden by the light. The light never turns off, instead it always shines, always blinding me if I try to look at it or beyond. My retinas burn if I attempt to discern where I might be. Only the dark offers me refuge. I don't think a door would be necessary here, the light is more impenatrable than anything solid would be. I have no desire to test the strength of the bars, the light is simply too unbearable.

I find as this day goes on my eyes are weary from the constant light. I only assume this is day, as I am not tired. My body's internal clock is all I have to base time upon. No meal has been delivered to me. Food doesn't seem to be part of the routine for this day.

Resting with my eyes closed is the only thing I can think, or want to do. If I look out of the cell, the light makes me see images. Spots dance before my vision. Even with my eyes closed, I still see the light. It permeates everything. I tried pulling my shirt over my head, but it was no use, the light still filters through. Even the back of the cell offers no escape any more. My retinas retain the never waivering light, no matter what I do.

With my eyes closed, I play with the nail. I twirl it, bite on it, pretend it's a pen. I have nothing else to carve into the wall, nothing to say to anyone who may come after me. I've already carved day I. A calendar to number my days is all I want, so when I am released I can know how much time has passed and understand why things have changed so much.

I don't know what time it is. Sleep has been trying to overtake me, but the light won't let it. The light follows me, it torments me. No rest for the weary it tells me. I've tried bargaining with it, but it only gives me a deaf ear.

The commode flushes. The sound echos about the cell, startles me into opening my eyes. The light floods in. I can't slap my hands to my face fast enough. To late, the damage is already done. My head spins and the floor coldly greets me. There is nothing to be done to stop the pain. I can feel the bruise forming on my temple. Curling up in a ball does nothing, facing the back wall does nothing. The light magnifies the pain. The light is the pain.

My hand grips the nail. I can't see the day I carved into the wall anymore, the light hides it. There is no escape. No point in tracking the number of days, for I can't see my calendar.

Day I.

The first and last day of my calendar. The day I took a nail to my eyes and escaped the light.


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