The Purpose of the Rented Room

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a response, a very short response I might add, to "In a Rented Room" by Denis Johnson I wrote at a creative writing club here at my university. Enjoy! XD

In a Rented Room
By: Denis Johnson

this is a good dream, even if the falling is
no less real, and even if my feet will crumble

on the lurking ground. my throat itches, and I am
awake in this room which is no less vacant for

all my presence and there are no aspirin. here
is the sun with its tired surprise, the morning there

are the cars and streets moving in the usual
fashion. the room wants to be rid of me. it must

fall open and communicate with other dim,
stifled rooms when i have slaughtered my body in

the sheets and fumbled streetward to sooth the itch. what
do you learn, room? what have you told, why are the stains

and the accusing glasses pointing so when i
return? There was the girl some time ago. she would

want to know here the guilt comes from, that hums over
the bed and descends, like an uncaring thumb, to

blot me out. she would help me, when the universe
has fooled me again, and the joke has gone too far,

when the itch, climbing, deep, remains after bottle
after bottle, and i inch towards death and i

must poke my body into a thousand vacant
darknesses before I strike the correct sleep, and dream.

Submitted: October 03, 2008

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Submitted: October 03, 2008

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The air thickens, wet hot humidity venturing out from its crevice to fill the vacant space. It does not notice the flesh or dry eyes. It does not notice the panting or salty perspiration. This room’s occupant is not its keeper, but merely the nuisance unmoving and unwilling enough to fill the space.

Sunlight filters through the window, the warmth, the heat left on the outer surface of the pane. It is memories that fill this room, remorse that charges the air with electricity and the suffocating remnants of arguments and dreamless slumber, when waking was the satisfaction and not its lack.

It is determination that keeps the air from flowing, that keeps the comfort at bay beyond the door. In discomfort there is conscience, and in conscience there is turbulence. And that is the satisfaction, but in satisfaction the anguish is no less. The fiery liquids do little to quench the thirst for redemption, hindering all motives that would encourage the steps towards forgiveness and restoration


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