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The Apartment Up the Stairs...

A Light is On (2000.09.08)

I’m losing it.

Tonight I scared myself worse than ever.

I was walking up those stairs again, climbing up into the darkness. Somewhere down the hall below an old man was laughing while watching Jeopardy!. As I got to the third step it creaked as it always had, and I dropped my keys as I was fumbling them out of my pocket. Just another aggravation to an already tiresome and draining day. I was so fatigued that I stood there for a moment just starring at them. They looked up at me almost mockingly; knowing that I would have to pick them up in my weary and tired state. I knelt down to get them and that’s when I noticed the light flickering through the crack at the bottom of my door.

I suddenly froze with terror. Fear and a sharp icy chill ran through my spine and I was paralyzed there, reaching for my keys. Suddenly I was startled back into consciousness by a loud brawl of laughter from the old man below. I slowly and silently picked up my keys and stood up.

Ever so carefully I put my ear up against the door. But with my mind running through crazy thoughts of what could be on the other side of the door, and the laughing from the old man downstairs, all I could make out was what sounded to be voices coming from inside my apartment. I was terrified to go inside. I was terrified to open the door.

But I had to know and so I gently slid my key into the lock. The little clicking noises as I turned they key sounded louder than the laughing man and I was sure that whoever (or whatever) was on the other side would hear them too.

The door creaked as I opened it, and before I could jump out of my skin in fear, I saw that my TV was on.

At that moment I don’t think I had ever been more tired in my life. Maybe it was the adrenaline dropping away so quickly, or maybe it was my own realization of such stupidity.

I had left the TV on. And worse, I had scared myself to death because of it.

It was then that I knew that I was losing it. I’m forgetting that I left the apartment with my TV turned on. Hell, I don’t even remember turning on the TV this morning. My memory, my nerves, my energy. This feels like a slow death.

I need to find some way out.

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