Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I Was the One Who Left Open the Door

The elevator stopped and the door opened for a young Asian woman to walk in. Without thinking I walked out. I did not recognize the lobby as the same place I'd entered two hours ago. The hallway seemed unfinished. Walls patchily painted, floor scuffed and plaster-dusted. An undulating plywood sculpture lay on its side before me. A sign on a gray door bore a curious word I can't remember. Oxygen? Imagine?

I walked to the exit door down the hall and pushed the bar, expecting to emerge in an alley or on the street behind the building. Instead I was surrounded by the city, buildings up and down and in the distance, cars and people far below between the black slats of a fire escape. I tried to close the door again but couldn't. It stuck against the jamb and wouldn't latch. I left it like that and walked back to the elevator. I wondered if the elevator wouldn't come. I wondered if I'd been thrust sideways out of time and space, never to reenter. The elevator came. But I was the one who left open the door.