I spent the next seven days in the white room. Exquisite meals were promptly delivered each day at 6:00 AM, noon and 6:00 PM. When I requested a book or newspaper to read, it was brought to me within minutes (there were no electronics). A drink? Virtually instantaneous. When I needed to go to the bathroom I simply said "I need to use the men's room". A door opened and a young lady - never a man - appeared to escort me down the long corridor. During each walk she would always ask the same single question. "Are your accommodations comfortable Mr. Porcello?" And each time I would ask a series of questions. "Where am I? What is this place? Why am I here? Do you have a sister?" Her response was always the same. "If there is anything you need, just ask and we will do everything we can to meet your request." Always spoken with a smile. A big, gloriously white toothy smile. I imagined her name was Tamii - with two i's. Then there's this tidbit. As we walked down the long white corridor, there was always a gentle breeze blowing in our face, regardless of which direction we were walking. Her hair would move ever so slightly and she would gently move her head from side to side. I began to have the distinct impression that I had been kidnapped by a group of disturbed individuals who were secretly making shampoo commercials.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking...Gourmet meals three time a day, drinks on demand, long walks to the bathroom with shampoo models, unlimited reading material, more peace and quiet than you could possibly wish for...What's the problem? The problem numb-nuts, is that I don't know where I am (a large white room?), I don't recognize my own name (Mr. Porcello?), my memories are scattered and disjointed at best and I have no idea how I came to be here or why. Other than that, yeah, this place is great.
On day eight they stopped responding. "I need to use the men's room." The door didn't suddenly and soundlessly swing open. "Hello. I need to use the men's room." Silence. A small rush of panic toyed with my chest. "Hello. Hello?" Nothing. I walked to the place in the wall where the seamless door had always opened. There wasn't a handle on the inside, but slowly my fingers found the crease of the door frame and pulled. The door silently floated open. I stepped into the long empty corridor and hesitated. Then I began to run.