When I first saw the room I was shocked. It was a small dark room without any window, just some kind of a plastic curtain over the sink which, when I pulled, showed me a brick wall. I turned the lights off trying to understand where the hell I was and what I was doing here, and then I screamed. I screamed again and again till no sound could come out of my mouth.
I turned the light on and I looked at the room around me. One old armchair covered with green fabric - it must have been green once upon a time - and a single metal bed next to the wall. A small wooden table sat between the armchair and my suitcase filled with all my belongings, while on the left there was a door that led to a small toilet.
I had seen the toilet before, but I'd never seen anything smaller in my life, even the local pub in my old neighborhood had a bigger toilet. Then a sink, a small freezer and a gas cooker completed the whole picture and, of course, the plastic curtain that had been yellow once.
The road I had followed to end up in this small room had been long, including six months of fighting with myself and eight steps downstairs from the level of the road. It was the bottom; I had reached the bottom and only the idea that, after this, I could go only up saved me. How funny the human mind works, finding hopes even under the worst circumstances.
I decided to move from where I was standing next to the door, I picked up my suitcase and opened it on the bed. One pair of jeans, four t-shirts and a shirt, some pairs of socks and boxers and that was it, except for the yellow notebook. I have this strange habit of keeping notes in a yellow-paged notebook and write always with a pencil. I don’t know why. It was empty; I hadn’t written anything in the last six months. What could I write? There was only one thing on my mind all the time, I’m going down, I’m going down, I’m going down.
Was it day or night? My watch said 8.30 or it could be 20.30, must be 20.30; it was definitely not morning, but this place without a window kept confusing me. 'Everything is in your mind,' I screamed to myself, 'You will see that you will get used to it. I got used to being nothing, I could get used to anything now.
I was sure I had something else somewhere, I checked my suitcase again and I found it. My last luxury, I remembered that I took it with me; I could have never left it behind me. A bottle of Canadian bourbon. I opened the small bottle and had a good portion of the drink. Then I closed my eyes and I started screaming again. Above me there was a big entrance that led to the stairs and the elevator. Nobody lived straight above me so most likely nobody could hear me…and even if they could what could they do. It was too late anyway.
I looked again at the room around me and I felt like screaming again, but there was no sound left inside of me, so I just sat there looking at the faded yellow curtain that covered the brick wall. Then it came. There was something missing in here, something that would keep me company in my madness and keep me in tune with day and night. I had seen the right place on my way here. A small shop with a dirty window two blocks behind. I ran outside, climbed the eight steps quickly and reached the road. I stopped, suddenly disorientated, my head cleared and I spotted the shop further along the road. I entered, asked for what I wanted, paid cash and returned to my new room, my new life.
I sat on the bed and turned on the radio that I had just bought. Tchaikovsky concerto for piano in C minor filled the room and I took my little yellow notebook and my pencil and I started writing again:
"When I first saw the room I was shocked. It was a small dark room without any window, just some kind of a plastic curtain over the sink which, when I pulled, showed me a brick wall. I turned the lights off trying to understand where the hell I was and what I was doing here, and then I screamed. I screamed again and again till no sound could come out of my mouth…"
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