George is dying. Of this he is convinced. Some force spurs him off the couch in search of his toolbox. He doesn’t know yet what the purpose of this action is. A part of him thinks he’s broke. If he just has the right tool, then he can fix himself.
But George was never good at finding things in the house. Diane was always moving things. Even if that wasn’t true George blamed her for it anyway. She’s not home to ask where the toolbox is. So George opens a closet that contains everything they’ll Never need.
As he rummages through the relics he’s aware of the stoppage of time. All the old items bombarding his brain punish him with nostalgia. He travels back in his memories away from a body that’s dying. Just a past that doesn’t exist. An illusion he’s more than happy to entertain. A yearning for better times that can never be fulfilled, leaving him with a loneliness that wraps around his soul like a vine. He realizes he’ll miss this about being human.
He forgets all about this the second he scrapes his hand on a metal object. He pulls the object out. His toolbox. It holds the key. He dumps the contents on the floor. Another urge overtakes George. He grabs a screwdriver and begins unscrewing the closet door.
After removing the closet door, George eyes up the rest of the doors around him like a man possessed.
The bathroom door comes down. His bedroom door comes down. Even the kitchen cabinets and the oven door don’t make it out alive. When George finishes removing the basement door he marches through the house making sure there’s no door left standing. Except there is. He stands in front of it, examining it. He can’t for the life of him recall what the door leads to. There’s something familiar about it. But he’s certain he’s never seen it before. He wonders who put it there. There’s hesitation about removing it. His curiosity overcomes him and he grabs the knob. It doesn’t turn. It’s locked.
George goes to his toolbox and returns to the locked door with a tiny screwdriver. He slides it in the keyhole and unlocks the door.
He opens the door to a room his eyes don’t remember. It’s dark. There’s smells his nose can’t decipher. His eyes begin to adjust to the darkness. Posters of bands he’s never heard of. LED lights of every color of the spectrum. Empty water bottles. Clothes. Lots of clothes. A TV paused on a youtube video.
Voice: “OH. MY. GOD. Can’t you knock?”
George: “You look just like — Lady Griddlebone is that you?”
Lady Griddlebone: “Uh…yeah, dad. It’s me. Are you like high or something? Because kinda weird…”
George: “You look so different. It’s been years. When did you return?”
Lady Griddlebone: “Yeaaaah.”
George: “We spent years searching for you when you ran away. I…don’t understand. Where did you go?”
Lady Griddlebone: “I’ve just been in my room.”
George doesn’t know how to make his brain comprehend this information. His body demands action. He unscrews her door.
“Can you close my door?”
“I need to take it. Sorry.”
George spots her closet door and removes that too.
“Seriously? What did I do? Why are you taking my doors away? None of my friends’ parents take their doors!”
“I just thought you should know…I’m dying. Maybe six months to live. So if you want to talk about—“
“Okay. I’m gonna watch my show now.”
She unpauses her show and laughter erupts from deep in her belly. George hears and feels this across several lifetimes.
Diane enters the house where the front door used to be. She sees the pile of doors in the living room. She removes her tinfoil hat and hangs it on the hat rack.
George sees the look of frustration growing on her face.
“Why do we have so many doors in this house, Diane? Did you know about this? They’re everywhere.”
“Yes. They came with the house, George.”
“Why are they not where they were this morning when I left?
“How would I know? My guess is I don’t want my soul trapped by anything if it tries to escape my body. Did you know Lady Griddlebone was in her bedroom this whole time?”
“Are you kidding me? The one spot we never looked.”
“I know. I was so happy to finally —“
“Lady Griddlebone! Come do these dishes!”
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