I let the bloody crowbar fall to the ground and put my head between my legs and tried to catch my breath. I really hoped there weren't any more of these wolf creatures around. That was about the stupidest thing I had ever done, but it may have been the bravest also.
I don't know why, but I decided I wasn't going to the call center. It might be the way home, or it might be a dead end. In my life it had been a dead end. This place followed some familiar patterns, so it made sense to not go to the call center. I thought of the Seinfeld episode where George realizes everything he has done has been wrong so he does the opposite and becomes wildly successful. TV is not my basis for life, but that's not bad advice when you have been a screw-up. Every exit I had found so far was blocked. The sign that said "New Wing Under Construction" was my best bet to find my way out.
I finally stood up, picked up the crowbar and hatchet and started walking, at least limping, towards the new wing. I was dizzy and still bleeding. I needed to find some kind of bandages and clean up if I was going to make it any distance.
Fifty meters down the hall I found my answer, a door marked "Infirmary". My keys opened the door. It was clean and had been well-stocked recently. I stripped down and started washing my wounds with hydrogen peroxide, dried them off and then put a little Neosporin on them . I didn't need any stitches, but I had to use a couple of butterfly bandages and wrap my thigh fairly well. I was still kind of woozy, and found a saline IV bag in the cupboard. It was kind of hard, but I managed to get it started and lay down on a cot in the corner and drifted off to a deep sleep.
I woke up much later. The IV bag was empty and my the dizziness was gone. I got dressed slowly, I had become stiff and the bruises were starting to show up. In the mini refrigerator on the counter I found a cold can of Dr. Pepper, a snickers Bar and a sandwich in a Ziploc bag. It was Bologna and American cheese on white bread with Mayo and brown mustard. There was a big pickle in a jar in the door of the refrigerator. It was like the kind of lunch my mom would pack.
After I finished the food, I looked around the room one more time. There was an envelope on the desk I had not seen before. It had my name on it. I opened it up and this is what I read:
You're on the right track to get home. Head through the new wing and go through the dark area at the end of the construction to exit this building.
You have thought often how this place is familiar, have you figured out why yet? The spiritual world is as real, if not more concrete than the physical. Your wounds are evidence of that. This is a real place. The landscape and structures in this world change from person to person to represent the landscape of their heart.
You have visited Purgatory...
As you can tell, the ruin of your soul extends for a long distance, like a ruined, locked building in a dark gray land. Yet, the ruin is not complete; hope remains, and there is still room for growth and still a way out.
Now, find your way home, and maybe you won't have to spend any more time here later.
P.S. The Neil Diamond Muzak is actually not part of the landscape of your soul. The powers that be have a unique sense of humor and know you can't stand him. Besides, it made you want to leave quicker, didn't it?
Thanks for reading,
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine