After a while, the boy regains consciousness. He spends the first few moments trying to clear up the confused thoughts in his head, trying to remember what happened.
But he can’t, so he decides to open his eyes.
He is in a white, object-free room. The room is also very small, almost claustrophobic. Despite this there is too much mess in his head, he sees things he shouldn’t see and from angles that are not possible, he hears things he shouldn’t hear, and he smells non-existent and senseless flavors …
He wonders what’s going on. He feels so many things, too many things, and none of them can be real. Musical backgrounds without time or notes, fixed and immobile flavors and smells, sensations he had never experienced before.
Many minutes pass. Minutes of confusion and daze.
He looks around for more information, but doesn’t find much. He is aware that he is on a bed, he sees it for some strange reason, sees it in its entirety and sees himself lying on it. He can see it from above as if he were experiencing an out-of-body experience … how is it possible?
What’s even more frightening is that the bed can be seen from all sides. He can see it from above, from below, from the right, from the left … all at the same time, as if suddenly he had not just two eyes but hundreds.
He does not understand. His head starts to hurt.
He closes his eyes, but he doesn’t stop seeing himself. The view only becomes more… smoky. Blurry. “Wrong”, as if it were the visual of a cartoon. But it remains. Alessio continues to see himself from every possible angle, it is as if he has millions of cameras around him and he is watching them all even with his eyes closed.
He opens his eyes again. He’s out of breath. His heart is beating fast. He’s afraid. He almost feels like he’s suffocating, even if it’s totally illusory.
He runs his hands through his hair and face, then he pulls himself up abruptly and tries to figure out what’s going on.
There is nothing around the bed, not even a bedside table. He and the bed are the only things in the room, which at least has a door. Should he open it? Should he go out? Something tells him that he shouldn’t …
He continues to study the environment in which he is located. It’s easy as a thing because he doesn’t really need to move to do it: he finds that the “cameras” pointed at him can be pointed at other places as well, so he can see most of the room without having to move.
There are some dark areas though… for example, part of the floor is dark, as well as some parts not reachable by his eyes.
Alessio is finding this very strange; curious and almost fascinating, but strange and scary. For a moment he even reflects on the possibility of being dead.
After all, this is a weird place. It is all white and devoid of objects … it cannot be a hospital room. And it’s certainly not his bedroom. So … where he is?
He would like to call someone, but he is afraid to make noise. That closed door is unnerving and disturbing at the same time. He does not know why, but he knows that there is something on the other side. Something that for now he neither wants nor should see. Something that … is about to enter?
Alessio stiffens as soon as the door handle lowers and the door opens. He even holds his breath. But what comes in isn’t as threatening as he feared.
She is a tall woman with wavy black hair and a chocolate-colored skin; she’s wearing an elegant white suit, but it doesn’t look like a doctor’s coat.
Seeing her fills Alessio’s mind with sounds, tastes and smells. As soon as their eyes meet she smiles, a smile that only exacerbates those abnormal sensations.
<<Look who is giving signs of life! >> says the woman with a cheerful voice <<Did you sleep well?>>
Alessio looks at her with bewilderment. Every single part of that woman gives off sounds, colors, tastes, smells, everything! His five senses seem to be going crazy.
Her voice is also strange. He hears his words expand in the air as he would feel a drop of water slide down his back, he sees every single thing he says come out of his mouth and then crash and bounce off the walls … and those words have a smell! And a flavor! And a color too!
<<Oh gods … you have a terrible face darling. I guess you haven’t slept that well. Maybe ->>
<<SHUT UP!.>> Alessio’s voice resounds in the room like a gunshot; the woman immediately falls silent, while the boy follows his own voice with his eyes until it disappears completely <<A.>> Alessio says again, and the thing repeats itself: the letter comes out of his mouth in the form of … a color? And it bounces off the walls until it becomes more and more faded, and then totally invisible.
But what he sees is not a real color. First of all he can’t give a name that color, he doesn’t think he’s ever seen it before, so it’s not a naturally occurring color. Besides, it doesn’t even look like a real color, it looks more… an hallucination?
But it’s not just a color. It is also a flavor. An initially intense flavor, which then becomes increasingly weaker until it disappears.
And it is also a physical sensation, like a needle resting on the skin that slowly releases the pressure and moves away.
And finally it is like a smell… a sudden, quick, pungent smell, which however disappears immediately, which is no longer felt after a few moments.
Alessio does not understand. He is confused. His head hurts even more than before. He wants to pass out.
<<Can I speak now?>> the woman asks, then the boy turns suddenly towards her.
That body is still producing all those strange sensations… and the strangest one is perhaps the music. Looking at that woman is like listening to a song. A song without voices though… a timeless song… immobile. They are like the notes of a piano held down for eternity.
<<What… is… happening?>> Alessio asks <<I’m not understanding anything.>>
<<I only asked you if you’ve slept well.>>
<<No? So the bed is uncomfortable.>>
<<No! That’s not the problem! It’s that … I feel things!>>
<<Do you … feel … things?>>
The woman assumes a perplexed expression <<You are not helping me, boy.>>
<<I just don’t know how to explain it! But they are everywhere! I see those fucking things everywhere!>>
<<Try to use an more elaborate nouns.>> she proposes with a smile.
<<I hear … noises. No, they’re sounds. Like musical notes.>>
<<Musical notes, huh?>>
<<Yes, musical notes.>>
<<What kind of music?>>
<<I-I don’t know ->>
<<Then tell me what kind of musical instrument are you hearing.>>
<<I don’t know! They aren’t the sounds of a piano. Not even guitar … or violin …>>
<<Are they an accordion?>> she suggests.
<<Uhm … maybe it’s an organ.>>
<<No, no, no!>> Alessio slips his hands through his hair and closes his eyes << I feel too many things! I see too many things! They do not stop! Even with my eyes closed I keep seeing things! And then the flavors, and the smells … >>
<<Okay, okay. Calm down. Now I’m going to order you something to eat. You will see that after a good meal you will feel better. Okay?>> the woman says at this point, advancing rapidly towards the door << I’ll be right back! You just … try to avoid going crazy, okay? Wait for me! DO NOT GO CRAZY! >>
That said, she goes out of the room.