[juhst an ih-loo-zhuhn]: is a song by the British trio Imagination. the song was a major European hit, peaking at number 2 in the group’s native UK. In the United States, “Just an Illusion” went to number 27 on the Black chart. The song also peaked at number 15 on the dance chart.
The House That God Has Forgotten Part 24: I’ve been there.
I have been there in all three places, but the adrenaline is still the same.
I woke up this morning and I knew it was going to be a good day. I got to sleep in and woke up before the alarm went off. I went to McDonalds and bought my favourite breakfast so I did not need to buy lunch. I had good coffee I could actually drink.
I knew as soon as I saw her.
“Today there will be an alarm!” I smiled at her.
“Please don’t say that!” she said laughing back.
See we central operators don’t need to look in cameras and see things. It is something we feel as soon as we walk into The House That God Has Forgotten. We know things. We have a “feeling” a six sense if you would like to say…
Needless I would like to say, we had two today.
I feel myself sitting there, minding my work. Opening doors, moving elevators up and down, and letting cars in. The routine… the status quo. Then that solid red jumps on the screen, and in less than a second I sit up straight in my chair.
The sound makes everyone jump, we all know the sound.
My hands start to shake as I reach over to my radio to yell it out.
My hands stumble as I reach for my cameras and I wait. I wait as I watch you. I watch you, and beyond that I am helpless. I just have to wait and hope that I never have to see what happened to Karen.
Sweat builds under my arms as you push that button more and more screaming out for help, I watch you; but there is nothing else I can do but talk and watch.
I have been there on the floor.
Minding my own business taking someone out of the shower or talking with an inmate through that little whole in the cell door.
He is mad about not getting to go up to the promenade when he needs to smoke.
Then that sound goes off and I slammed the door shut and ran down the hall.
I thought about Karen and hoped that it is not happening again.
Everything runs in slow motion as I climbed up those stairs. I thought silently to myself about where I needed to go and heard the thundering of footsteps along the wooden spiral staircase. Some people I let pass me by.
I am not as fast as I used to be.
Some people at the top of the stairs reach for their black gloves and put them on their sweaty palms. Adrenaline pumping with the strained breaths that move in and out of their lungs.
Trying to remember where to be, and never wanting to be the last one.
The door gets opened and everyone stands in a blur, taking a few seconds that feel like a lifetime trying to understand what is going on and where to go.
You find out where, and sometimes you are picked to stay behind. Other times you get sent away.
“You are not needed here anymore.” the voice says to you.
You walk your way out the door, and everything that happens on that floor of The House That God Has Forgotten is just an illusion.
I have been there wearing that red badge looking at that alarm and listening where it comes from.
Knees shaking because I have no idea what is happening.
I would think of Karen, and how it took less that two minutes for her to be brutally murdered.
“Will I make it there on time? What am I going to see when I walk through that door.”
My hands shook as I grabbed my radio and asked that person behind the camera what is going on.
They do not see, and this time they do not know.
It terrifies me, because I thought of Karen.
I asked to be let on to the floor, and have no idea what is happening. I looked for someone to tell me the story so I can put the puzzle together.
My leg shakes, but I try to hide it. It’s the adrenaline, but know one understands that because they have it too.
Everything moves in slow motion, but it is only seconds that go by.
Everyone is locked in their cells now. In The House That God Has Forgotten, it is just an illusion.
I have been there before pushing that button.
Standing there in a cell while an inmate tries to attack a nurse and I jumped in the middle.
“Leave!” I screamed to her as she runs out of the room.
This inmate, she is known as a fighter. A person with a real attitude.
My colleague is new and freezes by the door.
I stood there and tell her to calm down.
She spits at me in the face.
I do not move from where I am standing. Leg shaking. It’s that adrenaline.
“I am going to show you who is the crazy one bitch!” I think to myself as she keeps on spitting at me and I stare her down not taking a step.
She stops because she sees that I just do not care.
I look at her sitting frustrated on her bed and I think to myself as I push that alarm three times on my belt.
“Now bitch you are going to pay”
I wiped the spit off my glasses and watch 5 people carry her out the door. In The House That God Has Forgotten, it is only an illusion.
Today I sat in that room and watched you on the screen pushing and pushing because seconds and I think to myself thank God this time you are not alone, because so many times you are, and it makes me tremble inside. Because sometimes even when you are two it is not enough, it is never enough if Karen could talk, she would tell you.
I called out again on the radio because I did not see anyone moving.
I know I did it, but did you not hear me?
“Call out again.” my colleague says to me and I do.
I see movement. The person with the red badge finally hears me calling out to them.
Chatter comes over the radio as the boss comes in the room.
Look here I say pointing at the camera.
I get on portable speakers and explain to people why they have to wait. I have to explain why they cannot get be where they need to be.
We talk, we analyse and I tell her what I see. My hand is shaking. It’s the adrenaline.
My shift just ended, but I sit in my seat. I never finish something I have started.
In my job, I am never alone. I have two great colleagues that work by my side and help me to help you get home safely.
We watch as people go down in elevators one by one and wait until they are all in their rooms.
The the boss looks at me and says “You can cancel the alarm” and I call it out over the radio.
I clean up the mess that has fell around me, cars waiting in line and what not. The work never stops because you were done.
I leave a mess behind for the guy after me to finish cleaning up. There is a little hole of just about 30 seconds that I can trade places.
“This is going on…that is going on”
“Did you call about this one?”
and the banter goes on.
My shift is over at The House That God Has Forgotten. I take the elevator down and feel the sweat running down my armpits.
I still shake a little, that adrenaline has not left my body yet.
Everything feels cold as I walk in the locker room and I silently hope that the sun will be shining warmer outside than it normally does this time of year.
I get in my car and I put my sunglasses on and drive a little bit more cautious on the way home.
What is done is done, but I still think about what to write here. Words flow from my mind and make me want to sit in front of my computer as soon as I get in the door.
I think about you, I think about me and I think about Karen and what she would think if she was alive today.
Because today in The House That God Has Forgotten… everyone will go back to work, and it will all be lost and forgotten.
It’s just an illusion.