Three doors sit before me, I’m not sure of which one to choose. They stand on top of a mountain, 3 inches from the cliff; a note hanging on each knob with a single word on each. Choose. Your. Fate. There is nothing special about each door, they are all beige with golden, yet slightly chipped, door knobs. I stand there for a moment and start intently at each one for a few seconds. Can I be wrong? Which fates will I get? I begin to back up…
I do not see that behind me is another cliff, I don’t remember it being there, so I fall.
“Ahhhhh!” I scream out, rising quickly to my feet, my sheets wrapped around my ankles — a sigh of relief as I now know it was just a dream.
I lay back down, hug my pillow as I return to the safety of my bed. It was weird, it felt so real…oh well. My eyelids drop anchor in the vast ocean of my consciousness, there are no sheep to count on this ship, only drifting in the current to lull me…
So bright! My eyes open and my eyes focus in on the large objects in front of me. It’s the doors again. My old enemy, you will not dupe me this time! I swing around to make sure there’s no cliff to fall over; not this time. Instead, there is a vast expanse that reminds me of the endless salt flats, pleased I turn back around to face my foe. This time, the notes on the door are different. Just. Open. Them. Instead of stepping back, I step forward to the doors. I reach out and grab the chipped golden knob, I’m not sure what is about to happen or why a door is even out here in the first place, but I turn the knob slowly. I hear the click from the latch and slowly begin to pull the door open, I can’t tell if my arms are heavy or the door, but there seems to be an unusual mass to this innocuous object. An anxiousness creeps into my body, what is behind this door! With all of my force, I swing the door open, but to my surprise — nothing is behind the door.
Nothing? The door sits over a cliff and yet there is only darkness behind it? How can this be? I slide to the right and open the middle door. Nothing. Frustrated, I get to the last door and again, nothing. It doesn’t make sense! How can there be nothing?! There has to be something! I lean my head back and begin to curse the heavens, I must have swung my head back too fast because I lost my balance, this time falling forward. Past the doors and over the edge…
“Ahhhhh!” I scream out, once again quickly rising to my feet as a bead of sweat maneuvers around my furled brow. I am visibly upset, understandably confused and less than concerned with the drool I can feel at the left corner of my mouth. I have to use the restroom, maybe that’s why I woke up. Alright, let’s get to it.
I crawl back into bed, hoping and whispering to myself, “So weird, let’s hope for no dream this time.”
I lay there staring at the ceiling making creatures and faces in the pale plastered surface, briefly entertaining myself until the moment I can slide back into dream land. It will be a relief, or so I hoped.
I’m not sure how much time has passed but I’m certain that I cannot get back to sleep. I sit up, swipe the ridiculous floral blanket from on across my body and leap off my bed. I walk to my bedroom door, but before I grab the knob to open it, I notice the chipped gold. I freeze and close my eyes, slowly turning around on the heels of my feet — I can’t open my eyes, I’m afraid. Like a child, I put my hands to my face and split my fingers; these tender twigs are now my shield from finding out that I just may be asleep. As if a natural motion, my digits begin to separate and my lids uncap. I am at the cliff, but this time it didn’t feel like a recurring mirage, this felt new.
Instead of facing the doors, I take a few steps back and find myself against a surface. It happened suddenly and so my eyes jolted open, revealing the salt flat like area and 3 doors about 15 feet away. I begin to turn to see what it is I ran into, but now there is only the vast flats that lay behind the doors. No cliffs, only endless flat and 3 doors with different notes again. This time: Nothing/Just. Becomes/Walk. Something/Through. The doors begin to open on their own and again, nothing is behind the doors. I stare at the nothing like one of those pictures with an image hidden inside, focusing on what is not there, and almost immediately everything around me begins to fade away.
Enamored and entranced, filled with delight and excitement, a chill running down my spine while goosebumps rise as if my soul had found new life, I walk towards the door. I cannot decide which door to take but somehow I know that no matter which one I choose, it will be right. I’m not sure what to expect but it’s too late to turn around, where I was is not where I am; so I continue on. Before I step through the door, I stop to embrace the moment and I notice the door knob — it is no longer chipped.
I step through.
My eyes, adjusting to the light, open in what feels to be slow motion. I am tired after waking up through the night, but I am inspired to get out of bed. I throw the primal covered blanket from my chest, sit up and do a few stretches. Refreshed, I say, “Alright. First day of class.”
Time to get it done.