There I was, half nude, standing in a pile of dried black beans. Completely unaware of what was going on, until she asked me that perfectly reasonable question – “What in the hell are you doing?”

Those words shook me from my apparent dementia, and I couldn’t help but stare at the beans beneath me. Truth was, I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to tell her that, but when I looked up she was gone. That didn’t bother me so much as the fact that when I looked back down the beans weren’t black, they were pinto beans. What a ridiculous mistake – to think a pinto bean was a black bean.

I was mentally reprimanding myself for the error, when it came to my attention that rain was forecast and I had never closed the windows.

The room was hemispherical, so I can’t claim to have searched every corner of the room – but wherever I did look, I could find no windows. Which was a bit unsettling, since I remembered having built the house myself. That, and it was against the building code to have no windows. But, they really weren’t there. Not a single pane of glass to look through to the outside.

I went to fetch the broom, as I needed to sweep up the black beans, but I couldn’t find that either. I recalled having left it under my bed, but the only things under there were my alligator head and a pair of shoes.

I needed some fresh air – I put on my shoes, put the leash on the alligator head, and proceeded to the door. Which, actually I should have guessed, was locked. I went for the key, but realized it would do no good. The deadbolt was on the other side, it had always been on the other side. I was going to have to kick my way out.

For almost an hour I kicked – at one point, I even broke the alligator head when I threw it rather forcefully into the door.

It finally opened – it always did eventually. I remembered that opening the door was probably a bad idea, but it was too late.

The last thing I remember was a man in a white suite with a little needle. It pinched, burned for a minute, and then he turned out the lights, I guess.

When the lights came back on, there were still no beans, still no windows, and the door was shut again. My alligator head was gone, my shoes were on the wrong feet, and I was terribly disoriented. Thank god the floor was soft, because I fell down half a dozen times.

I set about finding that misplaced window. I just wanted to know what it was like out there, outside. To see if it was any different from inside.