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March 13, 2021

Escape Room

Lucciana Costa

A pink neon sign flashes THE MEANING OF LIFE IS HERE IN THIS ROOM in epileptic flutters. A door slams. “We should have pregamed for this.” I say as the door melts into the wall. “Whoa, top-notch special effects,” I say as Charlie lights on fire, sapphire flames shooting through his surprised mouth, his lips a little o. “I thought this was a birthday party,” I say as five years slip away. “Okay, what’s the meaning of life?” I ask nobody. I don’t need to shit or eat or sleep. I’m a piece of silk. I’m a piece of dry toast. Another three years. “So, the meaning of life,” I say again, my throat brittle. Piles and piles of junk in a single square room, my Motel 6 of Hell. Bicycle tire? Single earbud? Bong? Dog collar? No? Nothing happens. There are photos. Mom? Dad? Girlfriend? Dead dog? Bueller? I miss conversation. Charlie evaporated years ago. Nothing happens. I give up. I try to remember my childhood. What is the trick to this fucking room, suddenly I need to get out, I need to get out, I need to get out. Ten years. My face has wrinkles when I look at it in the back of a Soundgarden CD. I pick up a butter dish with a crack like lightning and suddenly pink lights spiral and the door reappears and as I’m screaming “A FUCKING BUTTER DISH?” I hear Charlie say, “Whoa, you okay? You look weird.”