Anonymous Cubed: Chapter 23
I open the door slowly; the doorknob is old and heavy, and must be turned a good hundred and eighty degrees to pull the tumblr out. I like old buildings, especially when it seems like they’ve got more character than common-sense. Everything from the distant past seems to weigh so much, like it was all built out of super-dense materials that weren’t meant for the modern age. Everything today is so thin and flimsy, manufactured for as cheaply as possible, to be shipped around the world. I’m not saying one is better than the other, yesterday or today, just that I notice the difference. It’s not bad, it’s not just always the same.
Inside, the room is dark and the air is heavy. Along the far wall, thick maroon blinds keep out both types of light, day and night, and the imposed darkness makes me feel like one of those budgies that goes to sleep when you put a blanket over its cage; tell me it’s night, and I’ll go to bed. Tell me its day, and if I can, I’ll stay in bed a little longer. Of course by ‘bed’, I mean the office chair I sleep in.
The decor of the room is lush to the point of oppressive, though there isn’t really much to look at. Thick carpets, thick drapes, dark wallpaper and a big bed. A little table with a TV on it, and the TV looks broken; a lengthy line of smoky grey runs up the centre of the blackness of the screen. At the far end of the room there’s a doorway leading to a what must be an even darker bathroom, and a couple of ancient lamps in the corners of the room. The lamps are made of that grooved, golden-brown metal, and their thick shades are dripping with little dingle-balls. In the midst of the room, is a king-sized bed topped with enormous pillows, all covered in a dark ruby-red blanket. I leave footprint divots in the thickness of the carpeting as I enter the room.
Sitting on the bed is an attractive young creature with long, platinum-blond hair, and disarmingly ambiguous features. Physically, Miss Dick is somewhere between a slim Caucasian girl and an angular Korean boy, but she isn’t trapped within the roles – she fluctuates amidst them. She reminds me a bit of a shifting hologram, an image that seems to change form depending on what angle you perceive it from. She’s wearing a puffy, blue and white dress which empathizes girlishness over sensuality; a sort of sky-coloured Lolita of indiscriminate gender, ethnicity, and age.
“So,” says Miss Dick asks, glancing casually from me to Lydia and back again, “what brings you here, gentle travellers?” She’s sitting on the bed with her legs crossed, and her hands folded in her lap. Her voice has a strangely lyrical tone, as though everything said is just one beat away from breaking into a musical.
“Ah,” I say. “I’m Anonymous Cubed, and I’m a private investigator.”