THE SILENT ROOM STORY

What I remember most from that day is that the walls of the building were cold and white.

It was as if someone had recently cleaned them with bleach and now the smell permeated everything. At first I thought it was a dream, since certainly everything that happened was far from the concepts of reality and rationality.

The first thing I remember is waking up and touching my forehead.

It was cold. Bizarre, given the heat that reigned in the room. I can almost see myself now as I take off my jacket and place it on the floor, gazing in surprise at the four walls I was within. What I saw immediately was the silver door handle. It was inviting, yet something made me hesitate when I caressed the idea of ​​walking towards it. So I turned around and discovered a slightly open window behind me: I could have easily passed through it and slipped under it, since a garbage can was ready to sweeten my descent.

There was no sign of life or movement in the room. It was still and silent. It could only be a dream.

I went to the handle and lowered it, finding the metal as hot as the temperature that prevailed in the room. The door opened and I found myself in a long corridor, also white. On the ceiling some lights flickered in pain, casting a heavy atmosphere over the entire tunnel.

And there was silence, and nothing but silence.

Slipping between those immaculate walls I perceived everything as confused and unreal.

I was constantly passing in front of other doors, but none of them I was able to open. Some of the handles dropped, yes, but only up to a point. None of the mechanisms ever clicked completely. Behind some of them I sometimes perceived sounds whose nature was not entirely clear to me, but every time my voice rang out to try to establish contact, nothing returned to answer me. I felt the palms of my hands sweaty from the grip of nervousness, and every sound I made ended up breaking irremediably before the end of a sentence. I was starting to feel like in one of those nightmares where you find yourself alone somewhere and although there is no apparent reason to be afraid or threatened you can't help but walk with your heart pounding and your skin goose.

Door, after garden, after door.

Each immaculate rectangle followed one another without an apparent end.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

I was alone and wandered lost in those corridors.

With waves of panic becoming harder and harder to ignore, I began to wonder if I would really be able to return to that room with the window open. I tried to turn around a couple of times and I'm more than sure I paid close attention to which direction I was taking (or at least I think) but it seemed there was no way to find it. Yet, there was always a part of me that insisted that there was no reason for me to worry in that way, that it was more than evident that everything I was experiencing was not real. From one moment to the next I would have become fully aware of it and then I would have woken up soaking wet to find myself in my room, in my dormitory. I would have heard my roommate intent on sipping one of those disturbing films of his ... or I would have found him already snoring loudly in the bed next to mine, and then there would have been no way for me to go back to sleep.

I repeated all these things to myself over and over again - and in a small way they managed to give me courage - but when I found myself at the top of a flight of stairs and breathing suddenly became more difficult that mere comfort was no longer able to impose itself on that restlessness visceral.
The lower floor was immersed in darkness.

Perhaps I had arrived at the basement, perhaps in that part of the building there was no electricity. Was it really the case that I tried to find a rational solution? It was just a dream, after all.

I walked slowly down the steps, but once I got to the landing, once I was ready to take the last flight, I was forced to stop again.

A sound of footsteps came just below me as I walked up the steps to the lower floor.

Rationality fell silent and instinct took over. Dream or reality, I turned and retraced the road until I came up again in the silent corridor, desperately trying to put as much distance as possible between me and that one sound.

The footsteps continued their advance behind me, and always in my direction.

No matter how fast I moved, the noise held my head and the stride matched mine. When I was forced to stop to catch my breath, the mysterious pace slowed in turn and returned to pace, but never stopped ringing.

In the end, overcome by terror and anguish, I stopped my flight to try to grab one of the metal handles again: I shook the door and tried to trigger the mechanism with firm blows, but it didn't help.

"Hey there..."
A voice rose suddenly from behind the door.
"Hey! Will you hear me? Can you hold the porthole?" I pleaded without ever ceasing to try and, indeed, you are encouraged by that sudden contact. I got no other answer.
The footsteps behind me had come close.
Too close.
I started running again.
Whenever I was sure I had put enough distance between me and those footsteps again I tried whatever handle I could grab. At each attempt I was greeted by that apparently innocent and familiar nod.

"Hey there..."

Something was wrong.
Oh, that was what I said was wrong with that fucking place!
If I'm ready with that futile attempt of mine and given it some of my only goal, I'll only return the verse in which mine was awakened. Now even without my approaching I could hear the whispers originating from behind the doors.

"Hey there..."
"Hey there..."

And I pass.
The footsteps never left me.

On the other hand, they had come closer and closer, as if they were aware of the goal I had set for myself. And yet, somehow, that sound still frightened me less than those whispers behind those immaculate doors. Behind each of them had to be an individual, an individual that my footsteps certainly alerted to my presence.
So why did each of them just greet me in the same way, as if to consolidate my presence in that surreal place?
Why would none of them open the door for me?
How could they not catch the terror in my voice, the plea, the desperation that transpired?
I continued my run ignoring their every greeting.
Each of them had a different voice.
There was a moment when I distinctly heard the creaking of a door that opened shortly after I passed in front of it, but I never turned around or slowed my pace. Maybe I already knew within me that it would do no good, or maybe a part of me instinctively felt something that continued to fuel the flame of my survival instinct.

In front of me the contours of a wide open door were finally outlined, just as my pace was beginning to slow down and the possibilities of escape were beginning to fade from the field of possibilities. It had to be the door I first came out of!

I entered without hesitation and, slamming the door behind me, I locked the lock.

The voices in the corridor could somehow still reach me, teasing me with their one greeting repeated over and over again.
"Hey there..."
"Hey there..."
"Hey there"
This time I didn't think about it too long: I reopened the window and walked through it, sliding myself under. Once my feet were on the asphalt, I ran out of the alley and poured into the nearest street.
The street was deserted and the sky was dark.
I started walking.

For a while, I didn't meet anyone, except for a couple who whispered thickly. Another couple of blocks and my cell phone rang. It was my roommate's number.
"Hey man, since you're still out could you get me a couple of things?"

I didn't answer. I hung up and continued my wandering.


There had to be something around there, something so abnormal and surreal that it gave me proof that it was just a dream! Something so absurd and irrational that it would have definitely convinced me, allowing me to wake up ...
The phone began to shake and rang again:
“Hey, don't hang up on my face, it's not nice. Come on, I'm studying and I need a couple of energy drinks to keep me awake! I don't have time to go and buy them ... and I always do you this kind of favors when you ask me! "
"Danny?"
"What's wrong with you? Will you get me a couple of drinks or not? "
The voice sounded like his ... was it really possible?
"All right, all right. The blue ones, right? "
Actually Danny hates the blue ones. And I was so sure that the one at the other end of the line would have nothing to complain about. Who would have consented, not realizing anything ...
Instead there was a pause and Danny sounded irritated:
“No, you know I don't drink the blue ones. Just get me a Punched and a Juiced. You can find them at that corner shop, a couple of blocks from here. "
"Ok"
Only when I hung up did I realize, looking around, that I still had no idea where exactly I was. To tell the truth, I still wasn't sure if I was really in a ... real place.
I decided to do another test and dialed my girlfriend's number, who answered almost immediately. I had a short conversation with her where she told me something about one of her friends who recently broke up with a guy. I hung up more confused than before.
If I was really ... does that mean that building ...?

Now I can't explain what prompted me to do it. I only remember a very unpleasant sensation that tightened my stomach as I somehow tried to retrace my steps, trying to understand from which direction I had come and, above all, to find the building from which I had fled.
And, believe it or not, I walked for hours along those practically deserted streets, but I never found him. Perhaps the panic and terror had prevented me from mentally recording some key details that would allow me to distinguish it. I even went so far as to consider the possibility that I had been somehow drugged, and that what I had experienced were nothing more than the side effects of some substance.

Finally, exhausted and defeated, I let rationality prevail again: I called a taxi and let myself be dropped off in front of the shop where I bought the energy drinks for Danny, adding one for me too. Who knows, perhaps with the excuse of taking a break and having a drink together I would have had an opportunity to nonchalantly explain to my roommate what kind of experience I had had and why I had sounded so dazed on the phone when he contacted me ...
When I finally returned to the door of our dormitory I had come to the conclusion that we might as well let go of everything. I didn't have an explanation, of course, but it seemed that there was no way to answer my questions, at least for now. What mattered was that I was able to get h"Hey there..."

For the next three weeks, at the strangest times, I always got the same call.
Sometimes it happened when I was waiting for a call from a friend, or when I just picked up my cell phone. Each time I heard nothing but that one word, again and again.
I don't think I'll ever be able to forget that day, or the terror and anguish that that innocent greeting still conveys to me today.
I had an open window in front of me. I could have left right away.
Instead, I thought it was just a dream, so I started wandering around the entire building. Convinced that nothing was real, that nothing could really harm me.
I will never forgive myself for not simply escaping, made stupidly bold by the mistaken certainty of actually being under the covers, safe from everything ...ome, and that I wasn't going to be alone.

A call told me that Danny must have gotten impatient from waiting. I answered ready to apologize.


LOVE IS NOT THE ANSWER

If I think back to how much love I gave to people who didn’t want it, how many disappointments I had, how much sadness and suffering, how much anticipation and anger! now it doesn’t seem true that the end of all this has come. I poured my love into hearts that did not feel, into souls that did not live. I gave myself to people dead inside, to those who did not know what it meant to love, to those who do not yet know what it means to love. I painted love in minds that just wanted not to love. I tried, tried, risked everything about myself, even my sanity, my inner well-being. And all because within me this energy needed to flow out, to be given to others, to expand, to go out and fulfill itself. After so much wandering, the unexpected landing is the best thing. Where you never thought you could find a place of peace and serenity, you arrive right there by chance, discovering that everything that was was only a prelude and to what would come after. After so much torment, so much existential fatigue, after every conflict and inner struggle, now I can say that everything has taken its place within me. That there was a total stop of that wild and dangerous flood that came out of me every time I tried to stop myself. That noisy and chaotic waterfall that poured onto the other, like an explosion of uncontrollable energy, now flows by itself in a different way. The tiger that roared inside the lotus flower has now disappeared and the lotus flower has opened and shines with light never seen before. My Tai Chi master had seen well, but it was I who couldn’t see because the times weren’t right yet. There was all that water that stirred my heart, which deprived me of that vision of myself that I still could not have. Because I was not yet ready for enlightenment. Now I understand that enlightenment can only be found if it is not sought. It comes at a time when you don’t look for it at all and you may feel you can never even get there because you are not the type, because you do not have that way of seeing or feeling. Because you are in the hell of life and you can’t think that anything else can exist. It comes at a time when the last thought of your life is to have that vision and that peace that you have always dreamed of. And only now do I understand why it is so difficult to describe it to others, why it is difficult to find the words that can describe such an inner state. It is a bit like when Buddhists try to explain that suffering does not exist and that it is only a construction of man. If I go to see what has been inside me so far, I find nothing but nothing. But it is that nothing that is stupendous, that is a whole. Because becoming nothing, becoming emptiness is a splendid thing. Nothing has become my past. There is no longer any trace of it inside me. There is no one and no thing. Everything has vanished into the nothingness that I am now. A lotus flower needs only water to grow and water is the only source it needs. Everything else no longer exists. The inner light is the only source, the rest is something that never comes. My being is aware of the journey it has made to become the Void, and the acquired well-being is extraordinary. Because my being no longer needs anything. Love, anger, life, sun, food, friendship, internet,… ..all these things seem made of smoke to me. I am like an impalpable fog inside me. No sensation comes to me from the outside but it is my being that flows and that’s enough for me. Before, the world was the fertilizer for my plant. Now my plant grows by itself, has its roots in the sky and the sap comes from the light. It does not need anything else. The void needs nothing else. My heart is still beating, it is alive, yes, but inside my heart there is only infinite light. Inside me there is only one lotus flower that blooms every day.

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