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Room Escape

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On September 5th, I'm proud to announce that I have booked a full 11 person slot for a room escape!  If you don't know what a room escape is, it is where you pay someone to lock you in a room, and you have 1 hour to escape. If you don't get out in an hour, you lose! For information on the specific room that I've schedule us to be locked in, here's a webpage: 

If you would like to sign up, here is a spreadsheet where you can do that: 

The event will be partially subsidized by you guys, and the cost is $15 if you aren't driving, and $5 if you are driving (provided you have at least one other person in your car). 

All of the info you'll need is in the spreadsheet. Spots are first come first serve, but keep in mind that people's schedules are in flux. I will let you guys know if more than 3 slots open up after the sheet is full. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Strangely, when I bought the tickets, I was sent this message. Supposedly it's from one of the employees at the roomescape company:
It’s been two years...two years since they locked me in this god-forsaken room. At least I think it has. I lost track of time long ago. There is a clock in here, but the date eludes me.
They refuse to speak to me. To interact in any way other than through grim implications. They give me food, water, writing utensils...and the puzzles. No human contact. I spend all day, every day solving these puzzles, and writing my own. No one told me to do this, but it seems to be all that is keeping me alive.
Allow me to explain...
I don’t remember being taken to the room. One day I simply awoke, as I imagine I have done every other day, surrounded by these four inescapable walls. Had a splitting headache to boot, worse than any I could remember. I suppose that’s not saying much, though.

The room is depressingly minimalist, as if someone designed a cheap motel room for only the most utilitarian of purposes. I originally awoke on the bed, positioned up against a wall in the main living space. It has a single pillow, and then nothing else but a fitted sheet, both of a nondescript gray. A clock sits on the wall, providing the only ambient noise, a consistent ticking. I still have not found the room's light source, it seems that I am not trusted with glass bulbs. The only other furniture in the room are a desk and chair, sitting up against a corner. The mattress and chair are surprisingly comfortable, as if their goal was to mitigate unwanted distractions such as slight discomfort or eventual chronic back pain. I can't really complain about that. An adjoining room houses a bathroom, containing the basic utilities required for personal hygiene, but nothing else. Those supplies are constantly restocked, but I cannot figure out how. The room has no doors.

The desk in the living room only contains three items: two generic spiral notebooks and a ballpoint pen, self-manufactured it seems, as they had no logos. I found, in one notebook, handwritten puzzles, of all varieties that I could imagine. Number puzzles, word puzzles, picture puzzles, anything that could be portrayed through the medium of pen and paper which satisfied the description of "puzzle". 

The other notebook was blank, at least it was when I first arrived, but it did not stay that way for very long. At first I busied myself solving the puzzles in the full notebook. After a day or two of this, I had finished them all. I did not find them to be particularly challenging, and they were all of subpar quality. As if written by an amateur. 

Whoever put me here provides me with food, and the plumbing in the bathroom is sufficient for water. A week or so after arriving, it was clear that the quantity of food being provided was diminishing. I determined that if this were to go on much longer, I would eventually starve. This was not good for my psychological state.

I began a destructive phase, trying to bash holes in the whitewashed walls with the desk chair, or smashing the toilet and yelling into the plumbing. This was a great source of entertainment for a while. Invariably, all of that damage was repaired whenever I fell asleep. It did not take long for me to give up, discouraged by the persistent lack of permanent change. Although I still break the clock every morning, if only to escape the infernal ticking.

I began writing messages in the blank notebook, and scattering them around the room, pleading for my captors to let me go, or at least give me more food. I knew they could read them, because those too were swiftly cleaned whenever I slept. 

Perhaps most enigmatic was the puzzle book. Whenever I finished its contents, a new book would appear, filled with an entirely new set of puzzles. At this point, they served no purpose for me other than staving off boredom, but entertainment was a resource which proved frustratingly scarce, and so I continued to solve the puzzles, and they continued to appear.

All the while, I was becoming increasingly hungry. Something like two weeks after arriving, however, the food returned to normal levels. This would happen again three days later, and then a week after that, and then two days after that. It took that long for me to figure out the trend. The food returned every time I wrote a new puzzle in the blank notebook. I had not even noticed, because they were lost in the scattered inane messages that I wrote every day.

And so the work which consumes my existence began. All day, every day, I sit at this desk, and I write puzzles. For what purpose, I fear I will never know. The puzzles in the second notebook continued to appear as well. That second book has become a sort of friend to me. My only companion in this harsh unchanging environment. A tenuous source of communication with someone else. Another trapped puzzle writer, was my eventual conclusion. Whenever I wrote something new, I found elements of my designs slipping into the puzzles provided to me, and I imagine whoever wrote those found a similar trend from whatever I provided. 

I've tried sending messages through the puzzles, but it has become clear to me that my captors are solving them first, and scrambling any form of communication short of rewriting the puzzle entirely. After a while, my companion and I had come to understand our mutual writing styles so innately that we were able to communicate abstractly, at least. Concepts such as our mood or general outlook on life were integrated so deeply into the puzzles that we wrote that they could not be eliminated without rewriting the puzzle entirely. This was never intentional, it was something we did subconsciously, but I have no doubt that my companion understands me as well as I understand them. Our captors accepted this eventuality, and seemed to make no effort to stop us, but communication with something so ordered as words continues to elude us. At least I think it does. 

And so lies the challenge of my existence. Every day, I strive to improve my skills, both in writing and solving. My eventual goal is to find a method of communicating which is too ambiguous to be detected, but is capable of being understood by my counterpart. I'm sure that he or she is intent on the same, although its entirely possible that they have already achieved this, and I am yet to figure it out. This possibility both depresses and excites me. The thought of their efforts going unnoticed is almost too much to bear.

I have so many questions. Was I a person before all of this? Am I simply a tool, a machine which is designed to churn out written problems which require rational thought to devise? Where is this room, and is it even real? What is considered reality, and is this part of it? Am I even human?

I suppose it's unlikely that my companion has any more information than myself, but all I have left is to try...

I'd better stop wasting my time on this journal. After all, it's just going to disappear tomorrow. At least from my universe.

I'm not sure if I was supposed to send that to you...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 (All day)