6. A NEW EXIT

In the days following the new door incident, I tried my best to ignore the whole thing.

I’d become quite good at ignoring irrelevant matters over the years.

But this one turned out to be a tricky one.

One evening, after I had cleaned the kitchen and was about to go to bed, I went downstairs to turn off the lights in the entryway.

As I did, and everything went dark, I saw it again.

The door was back, and this time a bright light was seeping out around its contours, as if there was bright daylight at the other side.

I froze and stared at the door.

Not because I was scared, strangely enough, but because this didn’t fit in with the idea I had about my life.

The concept of me.

Up until that point, everything had had its own place, and there were very little unexpected happening.

Sure I might slip on the ice from time to time when out shopping groceries, but wearing spikes would easily take care of such unforeseen and unwanted events, and I never got seriously injuried or broke anything.

Bills were paid in time, family relationships were stable, if somewhat uneventful, and my health was pretty good for my age.

The door simply didn’t fit in, and the daylight behind it added to the feeling of disharmony.

As I stood there staring at it, the glow from around its edges slowly faded, and it was gone again.

Again, I chose to ignore it, and again, I probably added to the impact of the powers that were waiting for me just around the corner.

Behind the door, to be more exact.

I went to bed, hoping it would go away and not come back.

A few days passed with nothing strange happening, and then it struck again.

It was a Monday.

I hadn’t slept very well.

I usually try to get a good rest before the start of a new week, but as I had gone to bed the night before, I just couldn’t rest.

All kinds of thoughts kept racing through my mind.

People I hadn’t seen in decades and totally had forgotten existed, suddenly popped up in my memory.

Unimportant events from different parts of my life materialised before my inner eye.

Without any apparent reason.

When I eventually fell asleep, it was the middle of the night, and the last thing I remember thinking was that the next day would be rough.

It turned out to be an accurate prediction.

After my morning ritual, which was followed by an extra double espresso this particular morning, I went downstairs to put on my shoes, scarf and coat and leave for work.

As I was kneeling down to tie my laces, I got an eerie feeling of being watched from behind.

I turned around, still squatting on the floor, and stared at the wall where the mirror should be.

Again, I froze.

The door was wide open.

Behind it, a bright light beamed out and blinded me.

I instinctively put one hand in front of my face, and after adjusting to the light, I could see that something was standing in the doorway.

At first I couldn’t make out if it was a small person, or an animal.

It felt very much alive.

But there, in a new doorway in what used to be my familiar entryway wall, a red, shiny, triangular shape was now hovering.

Floating in the air.

Spinning slowly.

As it did, it revealed four perfectly shaped triangular sides.

I kept staring at it for what seemed like minutes.

Still kneeling, with one shoe on.

Then, to my surprise, the shape said: “Come!”

And before I could process the command, or think of a good answer, I got sucked up from the floor, lifted across the entryway, and swallowed by the formation in the doorway.

In what seemed like no time, I was inside a small, red room with triangular walls.

The bowels of the thing.

It was both claustrophobically small and endlessly vast at the same time.

I somehow couldn’t grasp where its walls began or ended, they had a kind of gradient quality to them.

Suddenly it felt as if I was moving vertically at high speed, but I couldn’t see anything that I could relate my own position to.

I kept my mouth shut, as I was still too puzzled to speak.

After a few seconds I managed to open it and ask: “Where are we going?”

“To the source”, the shape answered.

Strangely content with the answer, I kept quiet for the rest of the time that it felt like we were moving.

Then the feeling of movement abruptly stopped.

And then, without warning, the walls of the room dissolved.

That’s when I got scared.

I now found myself hanging in thin air, several hundred meters above the city.

I could see the cable-car’s upper terminal far below, and scattered clouds both around me and above me.

It was freezing cold, as if to remind me that I was physically present, and not just dreaming.

The voice of the shape appeared again, this time from inside my head.

“This is all you have.”, it said.

“A unique perspective.”

“You own nothing, not even your own personality.”

“All the ideas you have about who you are, are constructions.”

“You only have this.”

Gasping in the cold air, paralysed by vertigo, I found no response.

“Let’s have a closer look.”, the voice said, and I instantly fell towards the ground.

I tried to scream, but there was no sound.

I felt totally powerless.

Just as I thought I was about to hit a rooftop that came zooming towards me, I stopped in the middle of the air just a few meters above the house.

I recognised it.

It was my own.

But it was different somehow.

Firstly, the house seemed to be about double the size of what it actually should be.

Then, as if by magic, the roof dissolved and disappeared.

I could now see the layout of the different rooms, and everything seemed familiar. 

I looked closer, and saw that all the rooms were correctly laid out.

I had been involved in both drawing and building the house, so I knew it very well.

All the rooms were there.

All the furniture.

All the familiar mess.

Except that the outer wall facing East had been changed.

Instead of being the outer end of the house, this wall had now been replaced with a higher and much thicker inner wall.

On the other side of this new wall, the building continued for what seemed like the exact length of the original house.

And I realised that this other part was exactly identical, only it was mirrored.

I quickly scanned all the rooms to confirm that the details were correct, as if to confirm the existence of this new part of the house.

And that’s when I saw it.

In our bedroom, someone was lying on my bed.

It was me.

I quickly shifted my focus to the other side of the house.

In the mirroring bedroom, on the side of the bed that would be mine in an inverted world, someone was lying, too.

Just as I tried to focus on the person’s face, I was violently dragged back into the air.

It felt like I was sucked into a vacuum, and in a split second I found myself back inside the triangular shape with the red walls.

It hurled upwards through the air, and after a roller-coaster-like ride, it stopped, and spat me out through the new door in my entryway, which quickly faded and disappeared.

Very confused, I found myself back on the floor, kneeling, wearing only one shoe.

Knackered, I sat down on the floor.

I must have been sitting there for half an hour when I picked up my cellphone and called in to work to report that I wouldn’t be coming in today.

Afterwards, I undressed and went back to bed.

Something I had never done before.