by Frank Scarangello
Itâ€™s a seven by twelve foot concrete room measured by placing my feet one in front of the other and pacing back and forth over the concrete floor for years without end.
There is a straight path to walk between the concrete table, chair and bed. Â I lost my right to move furniture long ago.
The door is red and split asunder with a bean slot to pass the food I will always eat alone. I have no right to company or conversation. Â The window in the door is opaque.
The cameras watch me day and night lest I try to escape to the next world. They used to watch me play with myself on the low water toilet in the corner. Â Low water lest I drown myself. Â I don’t do that anymore. Â Play with myself. Â i have forgotten how to imagine.
My room is sound proof. Â No window to the outside. Â There is no outside, Â I am kept in here 23 hours a day with nothing to do but my penance.
I see no one. I hear no one. Â My room is the Â perfection of isolation and solitude with only my breathing and heartbeat to fill the void.
One hour of every 24 I am exercised Â at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. Â Nothing to see but concrete walls. and a small sky. No birds fly over this place..
I have no reference points. I donâ€™t know where I am. Â I donâ€™t know the layout of this hotel. Â I live in a room. Â I have not seen any of the other guests. Â But I am kept alive.
If I wonâ€™t eat they run the tube up my nose and feed me to keep me healthy and prolong my living. Â I get first rate medical care. Why do they want me to live?
I can no longer remember my mother or the love of a woman or green grass. Â I can no longer remember green. Â There is no existence save the electronic zoo. Â And there is no green.
What was inside of me has dripped away into Dante’s hell.
Only Cleaner. Â Sanitized.
In the Gulag I might have died outdoors in the arms of others. Perhaps beneath the stars or a forest canopy in Siberia.
Stalin was more humane. Â He would have simply worked me to death still with the memory of my mother, a woman’s love and the color green.