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Hotel Room or Psych Ward

By 

Susannah Sherwood

W

hoever chose the décor of room 214 of the hotel was a sick fuck. Or maybe just really oblivious. Probably the latter. Most people were.

All the hotel rooms, she supposed. She really couldn’t be self-centered enough to actually believe that her room was unique or special in any sense, she realized, and reprimanded herself for the initial, vaguely selfish thought.

Everything was white and peach and pale sea green with the exception of the wooden furniture. Off-white carpet, sea green door and checks on the curtains, peachy bedspread and lampshades. There was nowhere she could look to avoid it other than inside her sleep mask or staring straight ahead at her computer screen. No reason to spell it out, but those particular colors were rather disconcerting for one primary reason: they matched to a tee the same colors of the pills currently lying somewhere in the toiletry bag she’d tossed aside in the bathroom. The nice thing about the pills was that she didn’t have to look at them after they’d been ingested, but this lovely little room stared at her with eyes of Prozac and Abilify and Wellbutrin and Propranolol long after the pill bottles had been tucked away out of sight again.

She sighed and decided to stop doing what her dad would call “sitting around and moping and feeling sorry for no reason” and opted to write something instead. Her creative energy seemed to have taken off for the moment, though, and she stared at her screen until it turned the same tinted green color of her Abilify.

Okay. Just a few words. Just get a few words down on paper, she breathed to herself, restraining the urge to whisper out loud and correct herself that no, not paper, she was typing on a laptop, because it was the sentiment of the thing that was much more important after all wasn’t it? She couldn’t breathe all of a sudden and she wasn’t quite sure why.

You have to write something, she told herself. Bad things will happen if you don’t. Ah. There was a start, a little bud of imagination, a hint of her creative energy creeping out. What bad things?

The walls will close in on you. The carpet will rise up and encircle you and the checked curtains will cover your mouth.

She imagined it for a minute, vividly, all the terrible things that would happen if she didn’t write, if she didn’t succeed, the feeling of being suffocated, and then she wrote, with her eyes closed, imagining that even as she typed the walls were getting closer and closer. She typed for a long time, and when she finally opened her eyes, she was more than a little surprised to find the walls where she’d left them, and a bit disappointed in some little part of her.

This meant back to reality, which she wasn’t much of a fan of, in general. Her own body and her own life and her own reality, and no real reason to complain about any of them, of course.

The walls were too still and so were the lampshades and door and curtains but they were all still their same nauseating color. She sighed, got up, made up her mind to stop feeling so goddamned sorry for herself, and poured a glass of water to take her pills.

Quiz question:

Which color was not distinctive of room 214 of the hotel?

White

White

Gray

Gray

Blue-green

Blue-green

Peach

Peach

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Issue 10

published 

September 22, 2017

Hotel Room or Psych Ward was written by Susannah Sherwood, who still hasn't quite decided where she was when she wrote this.

i dont feel like fininishing this website right now and i am sorry

Actually, I'd be down

to purchase some cat bones if

anyone's selling.

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Issue 10

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the Lit.cat archives.
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