My family and I were outside the hotel with a large crowd of people at some outdoor event. I don’t remember why we were there. I needed to return to the hotel room and I knew we were on the fifth floor, but when I got there the elevators didn’t have a button for 5. There were buttons between 4 and 6 but they had strange symbols on them. I started to wonder if maybe our room wasn’t on the fifth floor. I searched myself for the keycard, maybe it would tell me where the room was, but I could not find it. Someone asked if I needed help. I just said, “Everything is fine, thanks,” even though it wasn’t. I called my wife on my cell. I tried to explain the problem, but she couldn’t hear me, probably due to the noise of the crowd. I could hear her talking, but it didn’t seem to be to me.
I stepped up to the elevator in front of me and now I could make out the buttons. They were labeled 5a, 5b, 5c, and 5d. I figured one of those must be our floor, so I pressed one (I don’t recall which one). Suddenly, instead of the elevator in front of me opening, an elevator to my left opened. But the elevator floor was only half there and there was a large gap between me and the inside of the elevator. The gap looked like a thousand foot drop. I was too scared to enter.
I needed to leave the hotel. On my way out, several people said hi, and some even asked if I needed help, but I continued to say everything was fine until I got out of the hotel.
I looked around for my wife and family, but they were not here. No one was here. The crowd was gone. No people. I didn’t understand what was happening.
The wind blew cold. I went to adjust my coat when I realized it was torn and didn’t fit very well. Was this my coat? Why would I wear this to such an important event?
I started to doubt who I was. Was I Regis Jack? Where did everyone go? Why were people constantly asking if I needed help? Where was my wife? Where were the people I loved?
Then I remembered.
They were gone. Long gone. Tragedy took them from me many years ago. I no longer had a family. No job. No place to live. No will to go on. I dropped down on the sidewalk and cried. I always cry. On this spot. On this day. Every year. This is where we were married all those years ago. I miss her so much. I miss my family.
I lost her. I lost everyone I loved. I lost everyone I know. I lost myself. I need help. Please, can someone help me?
Then, just as quickly as I remembered, I forgot again.
And that’s just fine.
Because it’s easier.