Monday, October 12, 2015

infinity in the “no questions asked” hotel

It was almost time. He was almost there. One thumb-print and the hard-lock released. A panel slid away, whispering into the wall on magnetic bearings.

Samson clambered forward into his high-stack luxury coffin. The ladder rolled noisily leftward, the very moment Sam cleared the door. Irregularly greased tracks and regular use conspired against an otherwise quiet evening.

It was the kind of room normally bought by the hour. There was just enough space for a tall man to perhaps stretch up on his knees, though he could not have fully outstretched his arms. Plenty of volume to satisfy the needs of hourly guests.

Most chose tight-coffins or stand-ups for shelter, those that had any real choice, anyway. Many were lucky to get out of the rain.

Samson could’ve bought better and probably should’ve bought worse; credits were hit or miss, rolling high and living low. He ought to have saved the scratch and leased a tight-box up front, but the luxury box gave him something he needed.

It wasn’t the usual thing.

When he was a kid, in a different world basically, Sam liked to bury his face in between couch cushions. If he could set it up just right, arrange the cushions and throw pillows just so, he could open his eyes and see nothing. He could stare, wide-eyed, at perfect darkness. If he got it just right, he could breathe cold air through the cracks and still see the black. There would be nothing but the soft sound of an air vent, his mother’s muffled voice, and chosen blindness.

If things got bad after he was out, he could pull the same trick with his hands. Light leaked in after a while, but it helped.

Back inside his rented room, Samson never touched the control screen. He lay perfectly still and waited. He smiled at the whisper of the closing door and the satisfying slap of his hard-lock.

He stared ahead, eyes fully opened, and drank in the perfect lightless void. Layers of steel, plastic, and pure-foam padding soaked away all the sounds. Nothing existed but black infinity and the contented sigh of Sam’s breath.


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