I began to panic a bit, and to dart among the groups of revelers in between the entertainment venues, looking for the people that were my ride home. I thought to reach for my phone, and realized I’d no idea where to reach. I touched my back pocket…no wallet, either. I couldn’t recall where they might be. I continued the internal discussion.
“What the hell? Wait, I asked, uh, what’s-his-name to keep an eye on my wallet, but why? Why didn’t I just keep it? Why ask him? Why don’t I remember his name?”
“I know, I’ll stop at the front desk and ask them who I was with when I checked in, their names should be next to mine. They’ll be able to direct me back to my room for my things. Now, where is the damn front desk? This place is a maze! Is there an information booth? Security cop? God! My hip is beginning to hurt!”
I stopped and rested a moment against the back of a bench at the edge of a roofed parking area. The crowd was thinner here. I looked more closely into the parking area, and noticed at last that it was actually the top floor of an underground garage. For some reason, I just knew that the lower levels were dank and unfriendly.
“What the hell?” I said it out loud again. “What is going on? I was looking for the front desk, how and why am I here? This isn’t getting me to my stuff or headed for home! Why can’t these people help me or tell me how to get out of this? Wait. I meant to ask, but I didn’t ask anyone. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I do or say anything?”
I ran and somehow found my way back to the main corridor of the complex, saw what had to be an information booth where before nothing had been that I could remember. There were people there, a handful, perhaps.
“Excuse me! Please, can any of you tell me wh…!”
A pulsating scream cut through my query! Repeating itself mercilessly, over and over. Monotonous, but urgent. The roof of the complex appears to be melting away. Disorientation.
“What? Oh! What is…?!”
I sat up, and realized the alarm was still yelling at me, reached, and gently shut it off.
I didn’t swear at it, as I normally did, most other mornings.
Kevin R. Carr 02/02/2022