elevators make me uneasy. this single thought is on repeat in my mind as i glide silently upwards to my nameless destination. as the doors slide open, i close my eyes, prolonging the sensation of falling i feel in the pit of my empty stomach. i step blindly from the elevator, hands outstretched, the brilliant white light piercing through my thin eyelids. i hear the keening wail of what sounds like a child in pain, a sound that causes me to snap open my unwilling eyes. standing before me in an otherwise vacant space is the largest male peacock i have ever seen. the high-pitched shriek i had heard was his. i am mesmerized by this bird, and for a moment we stare at each other in silence, a silence so large it seems to come from more than just ourselves. i rip my eyes away from the peacock, allowing my mind to explore this space. a vast expanse of white barrenness seems to extend in all directions as far as i can see. no sights, no sounds, no smells interfere with the perfect void that is contained within this unknown room. suddenly the peacock shrieks again, dragging my attention back to him as he slowly advances upon me. i realize i have taken several steps toward him as well, my feet making no noise on the white ground beneath my feet. as he meets my eye, his tail suddenly explodes to expose the full iridescence of its plumage, the sound of the feathers snapping into place seeming like the sound of a thousand doors opening, and fear takes hold of my soul as i realize the peacock is growing, expanding, doubling in size, filling the previously empty room with his plumage. i gasp audibly and the sound is so loud it provokes another shattering shriek from the bird. as i stumble backwards through the still open elevator doors, i drop to my knees in nameless fear, wondering if the peacock will follow me, overtake me, somehow manage to stuff his body into this elevator with me, but the doors slam shut mercifully, cutting off the sound of one last wail from the gargantuan bird. the last thing i see is the brilliant, piercing single eye of the monstrous bird, peering through the crack of the door in what - rage? curiosity? hunger? nothing? i close my eyes, grateful for once for the sensation of falling that tells me the elevator is retreating from this bizarre empty room, from the peacock that surely held some significance, but what? what did it all mean?
note: white room photo by katherine du tiel