In a dark room
You feel their presence
You hear their breathing
You can smell the perfume, the smoke, the soap
Murmurs an apology
You just stand and listen
Female, you think
Do you speak?
When I volunteered
I did not expect this.
“This is stupid. Where’s the door?”
“I’m all turned around. I can’t find the wall!”
“I don’t like this. I need to leave.”
Someone with a calm voice speaks…
“We can find the door if we work together.”
“Let’s hold hands so we know where we are.”
Someone grabs my hand.
His hand is big and callused.
I reach out, but no one else is close.
Calm voice says, “Reach out if you’re not holding someone’s hand.”
I reach one way, and then another.
“I found a wall!”
The voice is near me.
I move toward the voice.
I find her, and we start walking along the wall in opposite directions.
I reach a corner and yell, “Corner.”
Then I hear, “Door!”
I pull my partner along the wall back to the corner and then in the direction of the voice.
Then a 2nd voice…”Not locked but heavy.”
We find the door.
My partner is very big. Maybe he can open it.
Calm voice says, “Before we let the light in, what color is your partner?
“Married or single? laborer or white collar? Old? Young? No you can’t ask them.”
“WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? WE WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE!”
Calm voice says, “Remember THAT when you come into the light.
“Here, we are mingled, lost people, but we’re not alone in the dark
“Remember what matters most…”