I am Ryan Hill. I like to write about mundane things. The story entitled "The Room," was inspired from a dream I had about an unknown man that claims he is moving in with me, and how the space of a "room" functions in society. The poem "Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky," is a poem I made while listening to Mono's album entitled "Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined." It is about something invisible that may or not be inside of us all. I am interested in dreams, plain everyday things, and solitude amongst noise. That is all.

Room

Ryan Hill

 

I awoke from a deep sleep to someone tapping on my shoulder. Before I opened my eyelids, I noticed how light permeated them. I opened them, my room door was gone and a shadowed man with a mustache stood over me.


"I am your new roommate." he said.


It was 1 am, and I had grown accustomed to the fact that the room I was living in was assigned only for me, thus why the name "single room" would hold relevance. Now, I was in an entirely different situation.


"It's true," he said. "I was called in by the housing services staff to start living here in this room."


"I'm dreaming." I said.


He then told me I was not dreaming and that he was now living in my room. From that moment on, the room I was used to seeing gradually took the appearance of a whole new atmosphere. The room I was used to seeing with my bed, a dresser, a TV and book case, with clothing drawers and two lights was now warped. The room lights had now had dimness to them that I had never seen before, and the man's face was half shadow and half mustache, so I had a hard time of seeing exactly how he looked.


"Let me show you your room." He said. "As you may notice, this room is not like it was before. Let's see, there is no longer any single bed here, just look above you! What do you see?"


"I see a bunk bed."


"Yes, a bunk bed. And notice now there is nice brown carpeting instead of the tiled floors you are used to. And on the ceiling is a nice skylight so you can see the moon gleam so bright at you when we go to sleep. Do you notice anything else about this room?"


"There are no doors." I said.


"Yes, no doors where there used to be one. Let's take a walk shall we?"


We walked out of my room and I immediately noticed a long hallway with dim lights perched on the ceiling and pictures of people I didn't know covering the walls. On walking I noticed that there were rooms just like the one I had now found myself in the hallway. Furthermore, the hallway was so long I couldn't see it end.


"See...It's so open now, and there are rooms everywhere, in essence the building is not made up of single rooms with doors, it's made up of hallways, or 'roomways' for a better term, each room flowing endlessly together into one. It's the new project conceived by the housing services center here; to conjoin all living quarters into one entity. Marvel at it!"


I didn't marvel at is as much as I felt displeased that now my room was turned upside down and connected with thousands of other rooms into some gigantic "roomway," not hallway. Upon seeing the look of the rooms as the same as mine, dimly lit with bunk beds and brown carpeting, red walls, and picture frames; all of people I did not recognize, we sat down on a couch.


After we sat down this mustached man kept talking.


"While we're waiting, let me tell you about the history of the room. The room was conceived in earlier historical periods, dating as far back as 2200 BC with the Minoan cultures. The purpose of a room is to be separated from other spaces or passageways by interior walls. It can also be seperated on the outside by exterior walling or by doors. The Minoans weren't the only ones using and enjoying room space. There were also the Anasazi, who had an early complex development of room structures as well as the Mayans. And the Han Dynasty in China had rooms in complex multi-level building forms which were designed for religious and public purposes. Tell me, what to you is the purpose of having your own room?"


I replied with my honest opinion.


"To me the purpose of having my own room is to keep noise away and a place I can relax in. I prefer living alone, reading, and sleeping alone. This is why my own room is important to me, and it allows me for privacy."


He disagreed with me, somehow I saw it coming.


"But don't you think that a room for an individual is so oppressive? You'll see what I mean in a minute."
I didn't answer his question but began remembering just yesterday when I was in my own room. And I remembered the satisfaction knowing that my room was room number 214 and that it had a door and all of the other rooms surrounding mine had doors and numbers. I felt relaxed knowing this, that I could sleep in the comfort of my own room. Now, I found the trouble of waking up to a mustached man hovering over me telling me that he lives with me, and the entire building was now a never-ending hallway with all of the individual rooms merged into one.


When I was thinking these things, I was no longer paying attention to what was going on, as that man kept talking the whole time while I was spacing about the perfection my own room used to be.


"Look, everyone's here" he said.


I was knocked out of my spacing and noticed that the couch we were sitting, and the entire hallway for that matter were filled with dozens of people. There were girls, guys, men, and women. Some of them had dogs, cats, snakes, and hamsters. Some were smoking cigarettes and others were drinking and eating. They talked loudly. I heard quarreling, love making, soft conversation, laughing and crying.


"See this." He said. "Now everyone lives together, in one room. We can now live all together as a group."


A girl with a dog came up to me blowing bubble gum in her mouth and introduced herself.


"I'm Sherrie, I saw you before when you would go to your room, but now since the housing services project started, I can actually introduce myself. This whole one room thing is really a way to bring us all together as one group so that we all know each other."


"Hi," I said.


Again, there were clamors of chatter, yelling, and laughter in which I could no longer hear myself think. Thinking was something that I was used to doing; thinking in stillness and quiet. But now, my head was filled with endless noise and I felt like I was in an amusement park with no way out. And all the time, that mustachio'd man was there that came into my room endlessly chatting away about the history of the room and the isolation of rooms.


I then missed the way my room had its own number and its own door. Everywhere I go, every time I slept, I would now see the mustachio'd man and everyone else. There were no doors anywhere. There was not even an exit.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790