You enter a room. The room takes notice and is displeased. Angry. The room demands explanation. Why are you entering me? On whose authority? Certainly not mine, the room says, I have no authority – a fact which you are all too willing to exploit, the room says. I know your kind, the room says. Coming/going, all day long. You think you’re first to enter me? Hardly. You arrive unannounced and present yourself like some kind of treat! Hello!, you say, here I am, look at me, Room, be ready, be happy, be thankful, for me, the comer and goer, trespasser and traveler, I have come to make use of you, to make you useful, to give you meaning and purpose: housing and holding me! No. You are not a treat and I am not thankful. You are a jerk, and I am unthankful. I do not receive my purpose or meaning from you. I receive my ire from you, and frankly, I’m fed up. So get out. Be gone. Have off. The sooner the better.
Contrary to the room’s demands, you do not leave. You remain. Since when do rooms tell you what to do? No, room, you say. I am not leaving. There was a door, and I have entered it, and we both must deal with this fact together, not in a fit of anger, but through civil discourse. The room is silent. Taken aback? Shocked? Defeated? Hello room, you say, are you listening? I’m not leaving just because you say so. I’m staying. Silence. Nothing. You look at the walls around you. The door, floor, nothing.
And that’s when the room enters you.
You take immediate notice of the fact and are displeased. Angry – and extremely uncomfortable. The room does not fit inside of you. Not at all. But it is inside of you. The facts are disquieting. The not-fitting and the being-there-anyway. Painful. You feel every inch of the room against your skin. Stretching you. So it’s no surprise you sense the door opening, within. Or the person entering. Entering the room inside your body. Then the next. And the next. Oh god, you think, oh god, and wait wait wait, where even am I? I am not where I was. Where I was is now inside of me. It is safe to say that by being entered, you have effectively exited. You take where you’ve been and what you’ve done into this new place.
From Bound by Chance, a project from Ace Hotel and WORD Bookstore, featuring work from Bill Cheng, Myke Cole, Nick Douglas, Chad Felix, Rachel Fershleiser, Roxane Gay, Chelsea Hodson, Kat Howard, Edan Lepucki, Thomas Page McBee, Sarah McCarry, Dolan Morgan, Travis J Nichols, Rajesh Parameswaran, Danniel Schoonebeek, and Emma Straub. Get the full book here.