12. Rooms From the ground floor, an elevator shoots up twelve floors of this concrete, metal, and glass jar. Inside 12-H, a spiral of two twined curtains clings to dried roses while rising above a table littered with dolls of all shapes and sizes. A pile of textbooks lies near a stove. Through a clear door, light rushes in. In the corner directly across the light, a red satin waterbed allures on the floor. Here, nights blended into mornings, large fingers stroked, lips sucked, and water was drawn like the turning of a well. The ceiling extends to the plummeting eaves. Outside, there is a barred balcony and farther, the untamed foothills. To reach this attic room, one must endure a forboding, off-limits house and strive up a narrow, steep stair. The floor is covered with old clothes, and the air is chilly. Low light from a paper lantern, withholding against a condom atop the dresser, elucidates. Occupying most of the room, two single beds press together. Here were warm overnight embraces, a soft tenor voice accompanied by a white guitar, tentative touches, and philosophical discussions; and not with one life, but many, as the stars only have their splendor in vast number. The slanted ceiling offsets the harmony of the room. The sanctum's white- crossed window opens to a stretch of dense, gloomy treetops. This room is an annex to the back of house proper, so one lurks through a side door. On a ridge, two futuristic action figures are engaged in an everlasting fight. Mildew pervades: black mars on the walls. A warm spot of light radiates from a second-hand lamp. A cool bed: the temperature is an excuse not to bring someone over, perhaps it could never be warmed by body heat alone. The ceiling is so close that the room dead-ends. Past the clouded window, a trimmed lawn awaits. Tiptoeing past assiduous parents, one discovers a room having a closet that once hid half-naked bodies, well-lubricated. An office set -- a desk, bookshelves, a computer, and a printer -- dominates the room. Impassively, the monitor looks gray when off, alive with colored light when on, at the whim of its owner. The bed was weighted by cavorting bodies. Here, two lovers began their separate journeys. At night, the ceiling seems to stretch endlessly. One would delve further into his digital obsession, the other out the window to the well-kept but unruly garden.