“Where am I?” I stammered after waking up in an unfamiliar room. Mind you, I immediately regretted using the most cliché of phrases used by people waking up from comas, near-death-experiences, drunken stupors, etc. I slapped myself in the face for being so predictable, the one thing I never hoped I’d be.
The room was a cube with huge mirrors that covered the entire surface of the walls, floor and ceiling. The effect was quite dazzling, just me facing an eternity of copies of me in all directions.
I stood up to inspect my body to check for any visible signs of a struggle, a fight, or anything else that could give me a clue as to why I ended up here. Did I mention I was naked? Oh no, I didn’t. Well, knowing me, you probably had figured that out already. “There goes naked Timmy with his tackle out again!” had become such a commonly used expression that some Chinese businessman was getting rich just by selling T-shirts with the text printed on. Good for him, I say. I don’t mind not receiving any of the royalties.
Whether my tumescence was due to this infinity of identical twins or just the result of waking up before the dramatic, unfinished conclusion of a wet dream, is still a mystery to scholars around the globe. Come to think of it, perhaps dramatic isn’t the most ideal word to describe the conclusion of a wet dream, although I guess it would depend on the perversions projected on my eyelids.
I scanned the room, ignoring my other selves, to look for a door. There was no door. I guessed it would take away the perfection of the mirrored cube. I assumed there to be a sliding door mechanism or a platform.
Everywhere I looked, I saw hundreds of me stare back, equally puzzled (and yes, still aroused, though with much less conviction). We were all in this together. From all the time I spent in various cells (the womb, locked toilets, prison, a coma, etc.), I knew there was never any point in crying out for help. Whoever locks you up, does that with the intention of not responding, as an ultimate mind game. So I didn’t give them the pleasure to ask for help.
I would solve this my own way.
I put myself in the middle of the room. Staring straight ahead, looking at myself at the other side, and other selves all around us, I prepared myself. I inhaled, closed my eyes, held my breath and started running the five or six steps towards the wall.
A bang. Some blood was now covering part of the mirrored wall. I could discern a small crack beginning to form. I grinned, retraced my steps and charged again, head first.
A louder bang, more blood, and a slightly bigger crack in the mirror. Head-butting, is there any situation where it doesn’t come in handy?
After the fifth bang, I fell down, and could just see red in front of my eyes. I started to taste the familiar taste of blood as well. I smiled as I prepared for another charge. Blood poured down my head, and onto the floor and on the shards of cracked mirror that were beginning to pile up around the site of impact. The shards penetrated my feet, creating more blood loss, but also increasing the flow of adrenaline to allow me to continue.
The blows became harder and harder, as if I was doing this in a trance. Sure, my thinking had become less coherent, consumed as I was by my objective to destroy at least this one mirrored wall.
I prepared for a final big charge. Bits of glass now penetrated almost every square inch on my body, though for pain I had no time.
“ ‘t Is but a scratch!” I smiled.
I inhaled, spat out a drop of blood. All my other selves looked at me with the same determination, all covered in blood, but stronger than ever. I interpreted this as if they were cheering me on, believing in me, knowing all too well that I was their leader that could take them on the path to salvation (I admit delirium may have set in at this point).
I charged, followed by this crowd of eternal followers.
Head first, I crashed into the wall, causing the entire wall on the attack side to fall down. I was losing consciousness, but I could feel the wall collapsing on me. The last glimpse I saw, was of my supporters disappearing from one side.
I had set them free! Even if I hadn’t saved myself, I saved them!
A curtain of blood was drawn and I lost consciousness.
I wake up in my own bed, panting.
I mumble to myself, “This must have been the most bizarre wet dream I ever had!” and I reach for my box of Cleenex.