In a few minutes, a familiar but nameless face walked through the door of Mary's room.
"What's up, Mary?" the young attendant asked.
"I'm sorry, I've forgotten your name."
"It's okay, Mary. I'm Mark."
"Yes, right, of course. Mark. I'm sorry to bother you. I'm a bit confused."
"It's okay, Mary. I understand."
"Am I sick? I don't remember why I am here."
"You're not sick, Mary. Let me get Dr. Channing."
Mark didn't wait for Mary to respond. He turned around and left Mary's room as quickly as he came in. Mary watched the young man go. She wondered who Dr. Channing was and what was going on.
Mary looked around. Other than the door Mark used to enter and exit her room, there were two other doors. Mary presumed one was a closet and one was a bathroom. There was a dresser across from her bed with several books on it and an easy chair between the two doors. One wall had a large window, but the curtains were drawn.
She stood up and walked to the door Mark had gone through. She reached out and grabbed the handle. It wouldn't turn. She tried it again and still there was nothing. She slammed her open palm on the door three or four times.
"What the fuck?" Mary said aloud. "Open the door, please."
Mark's voice was suddenly in her room.
"It's okay, Mary. Dr. Channing will be in shortly. You were asleep for a long time this time. Why don't you try and use the bathroom?"
"MARK! What is going on? Why is this door locked?"
There was no response.
Mary tried the door again and it was still locked. What did Mark mean that she had been asleep for a long time? Why couldn't she remember anything? Mary couldn't remember the last time she had been asleep. What was he talking about, she wondered.
She walked over to one of the other two doors and opened it. This was a closet. The clothing in the closet looked exactly like the outfit she was currently wearing. Tan tops and pants all hung neatly in a row. On the floor of the closet was two sets of tan slip on shoes and a pair of tan flip flops.
On the shelf above where the clothes were hanging had several towels folded and placed on one side and an extra blanket and pillow on the other. Mary did not like the look of this. She was clearly in some kind of institution, but she didn't know why.
Panic began to set in.
"Remember, Mary. Damn it," she said aloud. "Why are you here? Where is here?"
It occurred to her that she also had no idea when or how she got there, either.
Mary heard the door click and a man with salt and pepper hair walked into her room. He was wearing a black polo shirt and matching chinos.
"Hi Mary," he said. "I'm Dr. Channing. You don't remember me, do you?"
(to be continued)
See you tomorrow.
I interviewed this guy, Adam, too. He was a total gentlemen. His PR person got mad at me for mentioning (in a positive way, I might add) that he had overcome some mental health issues. He was one of my favorites back in the day.