It is to be locked inside a cellar. There are noises on the other side of the door; voices and sounds of which most have familiarity. Sometimes there is laughter and other times only quiet. The silence though is most of what rings in this angular and hollow room. It is as an old friend who never parts from my side. It is the noises and the voices from outside this room that are guests at my door, never knocking.
I stretch my imagination to match up voices with faces that I have not seen, adding new features each time the voice utters a word or laughs or cries in the house which I do not see from my closed and locked room. It is to be kept company by what I imagine to be on the other side of the door. It is the hope I think that can only be known to those who understand that isolation has a place in every soul. It is a way of life in this cellar.
Footsteps from above and below on the opposite side of the door are directions on a map that allows for a layout in my mind of what the world beyond this locked door must be like. Each footstep is a marker in my mind as I hear them tapping the floor beyond the corners, on stairs, and down corridors. Some are soft as though made by tiny feet, while others thuddish and louder as though made by giants. There are faint images from the crack at the bottom of the door, but they are only shadows pierced by the light beyond them when others stand outside the door.
There is artificial light in this depth, but it is void of sunlight. There is little warmth from it. It is to be tempted with what is true and then tested with what is false inside this cellar of stone and repetitive echoes. On certain days from windows outside this room, the truth does shine in as slivers from the gaps around the jambs. As minute as are the rays, I can still feel the warmth from them inside. It is far from me, but still, I know it holds no artificial properties. It is foreign and yet longing.
There is only outside and inside from this perspective. A door made of steel, wood or even cloth that separates one from another, one world from another. There are those who walk the rooms with both artificial light and sun and those who stand at locked doors imagining what that must be like. There are those who see a world that is with these bright lights. And there are those, who with candles in their minds, only imagine it with a flicker. This is what it is to know to a crowd can be a haunted place. This is what it is to feel a sharp wound from a dull knife. This is what it is to know depression.