A Hole in the Floor

You wake up suddenly and look closely at the centre of the room in which you are planted, there is a small hole in the floor. It is a kind of drain and forms a kind of funnel. If you focus, you’ll notice that the world is slowly but forcefully swirling into this ever so slight gap. There’s no need to feel an immediate panic about it. The world moves like molasses and you can be sufficiently certain that it will take a great many millennia for the draining process to make any real dent in reality. By that point, you’ll probably be dead and you’d be happy to offer up your corpse as a noble stopper for the hole.  

Still, you can’t help but be worried as, for a split second, the thick liquid materiality of the room seems to accelerate into that tiny opening. You might wonder where it all goes, but this is not the time for idle speculation. You must tell the authorities quickly and they will know what to do.  

You slowly and with uncomfortable care move alongside the walls towards the door. In you is the dread that the little hole is just a taunt masking the fact that there wasn’t any ground at all. Luckily for you, for the time it takes you to get out of the room, most of the floor stays in place while it continues its slow viscous march to nowhere.  

Once you’ve crossed the door’s threshold, you are a little more at ease. Just then you hear on a nearby radio that a similar hole had been discovered in some European university and specialists are now working around the clock to plug it. You are not reassured. You move towards the phone and call the first number you can think of, a friend well placed in the structure of things. Not only will he know what to do, but he’ll be able to do something about it. The phone rings, once, twice and you consider how little you two have spoken in the past many years. He is not unique in this regard. You have many friends with whom you share slowly fading memories, who are simply too busy to talk. You have been displaced from their lives. As the phone rings a third time, you wonder if, supposing you slipped into the hole, would they notice? 

He picks up.  

You speak briefly and exchange pleasantries. You’re not sure if he remembers who you are. You continue the conversation anyway. You explain your situation. He seems tired. He responds that there are many such pores in every room and it’s merely a matter of physics… a sort of pressure valve for the weight of the world. He seems bored but the analogy is helpful. Yours is different though, you assure him. You explain how it’s speeding up, how you’re scared. He quickly explains that visual tricks are common and you’re probably under a lot of stress lately. Are you? Yes, you are. He’s sorry to hear that in a kind of distracted but probably sincere way. He says it was nice talking and you should call back some time, but he has to run. You hang up. 

You could run out of the building and seek help, seek counsel. Instead you just return to your room with less care than you left it. There’s still a small hole. You have learnt there are many more, too small for you to see. You don’t stare as hard at it and eventually fall back asleep. You will be ready to wake up again tomorrow. The hole grows a little wider and the dripping goes on.

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