The Great Hallway Expedition

I’m mostly depuffed today, and I’ve been exploring again. I found this plant—

—and STAIR 5, and this patch of rippling water—

—but apart from the stairs, I couldn’t get to any of it. There’s this strip of frosted glass, and it looks out on something, but I’m not sure what. There are plants. There are trellises. There’s a narrow box of water. It’s a garden, maybe, or a hidden courtyard, but I can’t find a door. Maybe those are the terraces for the flats across the hall, and you can’t go there unless you live in them. That’s fair, I suppose, but I’m curious. I want to see.

Tomorrow, I’ll look some more. I only explored half the floor. There could still be a door on the other side, and I’m sure there are more stairs. STAIR 5 implies STAIRS 1-4, and maybe STAIR 6 and up. I expect some of those are in the other towers, but there could be more here. I’ll assign myself that: make a stair map. Find the door. Get outside.

Get outside, that’s the goal. But there’s outside and OUTSIDE. Just outside’s not so bad, if I’m still sort of home. If I’m all boxed in, no cars and no strangers. OUTSIDE is less appealing. It’s crowded, and it smells. There are too many cars. Too much exhaust. There are people, lots of people, and they all stand too close. They push you into traffic—

(that happened one time)

—and they greet you unexpectedly, like “hello! Good morning!”, and you’re all, are you talking to me? Or is someone behind me, and I’m a twat if I respond? OUTSIDE is awkward, or it has the potential to be. Once, I was OUTSIDE, and Mother dared me to run and touch a sign. This old man saw me, and he laughed.

(She dared me because I’d decided I didn’t like the sign, and she thought that was silly, and I should…I don’t know. Challenge the sign. I wasn’t afraid of it. I just didn’t like it. It showed a dog copping a squat, and that dog was crossed out, but you could still see it shitting. Anyway. I touched that sign. I had to jump to reach it, so I ended up slapping it. It made a bonging sound. I guess that was funny. I earned the laugh.)

I won’t venture that far just yet. No sign-slapping. No snickering masses. I’ll just survey my building. I’ve found a friend to bother me, to beshrew me if I don’t.

I haven’t eaten in a while, so I should get on that too. It’s because of my tooth. I don’t want to make it worse, but some soup couldn’t hurt. I’m starting to feel sick, all hot and shivery, but only when I move. I always get that when I’m hungry. When I’ve gone too long between meals.

(I’m not starving. It’s not like that. I’ve been having protein drinks, two a day. My last bloodwork was good. I’m not malnourished, just peckish. I won’t die of that.)

My to-do list for tomorrow, then:

  • Write two thousand words
  • Learn more Russian
  • Find one more staircase, and the door, if there is one. Get some fresh air.
  • Eat soup.

If I can’t do that, I’m dead already.

I can totally do that.

(Yeah. That was a whole story about walking down the hall. It’s the most interesting thing I’ve done in a while. It is fair to mock now, if you must.)