I had no sense of echo, as if there were no walls.
Slowly my eyes adjusted and I could see faint outlines.
The room was filled with boxes, trunks, and cartons of various sizes.
Wondering where I was, or why, I moved slowly through the maze until I came upon a cardboard carton, a wardrobe of sorts, (designed for travel?)
The door was fastened with a string which I unwrapped.
Inside I found cardboard facsimiles of people, cutouts of the famous and the obscure stacked in rows along the walls of what had now turned into a room, or perhaps another dimension, it was still dark.
Thinking that they might have have sound chips installed I tried waving my hand in front of the effigies but there was no sound.
Looking closely, I began to see familiar faces. Faces from my past. Faces of friends long forgotten, or dead, or simply drifted on.
After a time of contemplation, of examining each one, I found one of special significance
In her hand was a letter, and I knew instantly why I was drawn to this ethereal space.
That letter I sent her so long ago.
Melissa, what a piece of work she was.
Or rather what a piece of work I wasn't
It was quite amusing to recall my naivete, my pompous assurance that I was acting with reason.
Now I see how completely I misread the situation.
She had her hooks in me from the start, and I hadn't a chance.
Well, she agreed with me completely, praised my practicality, my wisdom, my sensibility.
Of course she did.
I could blame it on the perfume, of course, but the perfume was only a metaphor for the subconscious poison I was succumbing to.
The marriage lasted three years, two months, five days, and well, some hours, some minutes, and some seconds.
I can't say it was pure torture but, I was exposed to an almost continuous litany of my failings as a provider of "romance".
Something I foolishly thought I had made clear at the outset.
We parted amicably not having ever been together in any real sense of the word.
I repacked the carton and retreated.
Still in the dark I stumbled on a n old kerosene lantern.
Upon lighting it, I found myself in a small closet, with barely enough room to turn.