I feel the squeaking floorboards. I hear the rusting nails. The old desks sit row by row, every single drawer is shut, forever… regardless of whether I open them or not. But the roll-top desk is different. Seeping from its hastily closed tambour was a tattered photograph. I pulled it out, knowing that if I tore it, the untold story would remain exactly that. A beautiful dark boy with a gleaming face and teeth far brighter than the yellowing border around him was proudly holding a mottled and blotchy horn. Near the instruments bell I could make out what appeared to be a gracefully emblazoned C. If this indeed was a Conn it must have been given to him by an old mentor. A jazz player from Harlem who’s bashed in mouth, missing teeth and tired lips placed him into a shrine of jazz greats now retired. The smile was so grand, I thought that it might be young Louis. And that cap, it looked like the one worn by the boys at the Coloured Waifs Home. It would be a dream come true for a poor boy such as this to own such a majestic bugle.  The echoes of Tiger rag now filled this room that had enough holes to percolate the sound into a city-wide jitterbug anthem. I thought about venturing outside, expecting to see a gathering crowd forming a jubilant funeral march. As I absorbed the smells of rancid ink and the odor of suffocating ancient upholstery, I found myself twirling and spinning, somewhat like the dial on H. G. Wells time machine. I was soon to engage one of my over-sized feet between a heavy cord and a rusty metal table. What was upon this dalmationed porcelain stand fell reluctantly and clumsily to the ground, finding my temple on its way down. I lay dizzy in no condition to articulate time and place. When I gathered my thoughts, and point of reference, standing before me menacingly was a Kodascope, with a film reel as still as it had been for the last ninety years. I unclasped the reel and as I stumbled to my feet and instinctively held a short section of brittle film to the light, what there was of it. It was a strange bronze light, coming through the oily windows in a scattered series of hazy golden jet-streams. It was a young girl with what appeared to be brushes tied to her feet. I fell back, startled. Through the Back Door! 1921. Mary Pickford. The mother-lode of silent film. I suddenly found my vision acute. A tall bookcase, further from the crumbling brick wall at its top than at its bottom, leaned towards me with curious intelligence. As I perused the volumes, I could make out the title on every spine. One, in particular, caught my eye. It then answered my interest, by falling to the floor. I walked straight to it, as if mesmerized. I picked it up, and my unknown but perceived memory of it warmed my nervous hands. No Exit and Three Other Plays by Jean-Paul Sartre.  I then knew that I was meant to be here. The memory of how I became situated in this plethora of my dreams was soon erased. How may you ask did I arrive at this conclusion? There was a total absence of doors. My escape was not to be into current reality, but the authenticity of my soul.

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