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Monday, October 24, 2016

Blind As a Bat and Trapped Like a Rat

Dining Room Inaugauration Fiesta

Blind as a bat and trapped like a rat, that was what it was like in the early morning hours at the Amazon Research Center. Mentally my fist had slammed on the panic button to put a red alert telling my whole body system that this was a code red emergency. Immediately regret filled me from head to toe as thoughts of my flashlight lying on my bedstand danced mockingly in my head.

A couple of times I had to make use of the bathroom in the middle of the night and walked out of my lodging finding myself in pitch black. All lights in every part of the lodge were gone. It seemed as if they stay on until a certain time then everything shuts off. Leaving my room without a flashlight was a good way to discover the feeling of what being in a horror movie is like.

One night while making my way to the bathroom, the lights were still on so I left my flashlight on the stand beside my bed. This would soon turn out to be a sorry mistake. While making use of the facilities, the lights without warning turned off completely and the darkness swallowed me whole. 

For most of us who have spent any amount of time in darkness, it's rare that it is 100% complete darkness. There are usually lights in the distance or shadows we can make out. But I had been engulfed by true darkness, a comparable experience to being born blind and having known only a world without light.

Immediately my head snapped into action. "OK Angelina, you know the layout of the bathroom". Automatically my fingertips reached forward and felt for the door. Once outside the stall, the world remained in complete darkness. My hands pressed against sides of the wall and I knew that my only hope was to follow it to take me out of the bathroom. Before long those faithful fingertips of mine felt the door to the entrance of the bathroom.

Unfortunately, my conundrum was nowhere close to finished seeing as there is a whole room that was built outside of the entrance to the actual bathroom. It was designed to keep out insects with mesh windows. Inside this room is also a large railing that my hands grasped for desperately.  Consumed by pure black, the darkness seemed to taunt my efforts to escape from this seemingly endless maze.

My heart was racing faster than cars in a Nascar race. For a mere moment I considered just staying in one place until morning came in lieu of running the risk of stumbling around in the darkness all night. Other than the feel of the wood on the tips of my fingers there was no way to figure out my exact location in the room.

In my imagination I pictured the railing as I had seen it in broad daylight and just trusted that if my hands kept following faithfully, it would lead me close to the entrance where there might be a chance at even a little light from the night sky. The tips of my fingers followed the railing until I felt where it ended. It was then that my fingers had a new feeling, something hard and wired. It was the mesh windows.

Confusion engulfed me as my fingers ran against the mesh windows hoping for some kind of solace. The mental map of the layout in my minds eye had now been burnt to bits and now all there was left was guessing games to where I was. The darkness smirked as my daring attempt to free myself from its grasp continued.

Just when things had begun to feel completely fruitless, strange shadows appeared that looked to be like thatched roofs from its shape. Abit of a light color appeared and although pitch black, it now registered in my brain that I had reached outside.

*just wanted to explain the layout. The whole research center is built the style of raised huts. So after exiting the building that houses the bathroom, one can walk straight ahead to go to the main centre but there are walkways that branch off to the left and the right towards the individual rooms.

The finish line was near, all that was left now was to find the first walkway that branched to the left and I was home. For a few terrifying moments my hands couldn't feel anything and feared gripped me that I would fall off the edge. But my head snapped back into place and remembered that safety railings had been installed and there was no chance of that.

So once again, with only the tips of my fingers as my guide, they felt for the beam and followed it religiously. After stealthily walking for a few paces, my instincts screamed at me telling me that I  had overshot the turn to my room. So with just a little bit of backtracking, my fingertips followed the path of the beam until it felt the corners where the walkway branched towards my room. 

After following it for a few more secs, my hands made contact with a room with an open door. Thoughts whirled around in my brain faster than laundry in a washer. Dashing thru the open door, my hand reached for the one object that would give me the solace my soul was desperately craving. Flashlight in hand, my thumb hit the ON button and my heart exploded as a glorious beam of light flooded the room.....

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas