114892716642512536216 – Minjae Kim ’21

Author’s Note:

Do you ever find yourself spacing out at a wall — staring at the bricks until they don’t look even anymore?

Count the words per line.

Room is perfect square.

I think the room is a perfect cube.

I walked the walls to check. Twenty steps.

Window is perfect square.

One step by one. It is on the ceiling.

The door is almost a square. It is a toe taller than it is wide.

The window shines a perfect square of light down on to the floor. It travels across the room. And then it is the dark night.

Today I counted the times I could click my tongue between the light appearing and disappearing.

It was nineteen thousand six hundred eighty three.

I think every corner is also perfect. I pulled out my protractor to check every single corner of the room. Every corner is a perfect ninety degrees.

Everything in this room is perfectly black. When the square of light leaves, I am blind.

It looks like one of the black walls was not painted as recently as the others. Faded black paint on the wall annoys me.

I was lying on the ground and staring at the faded black wall. There is a nail in the wall, never noticed it before. It is in pretty deep. I could try to pull it out.

My fingers are raw from picking at the nail.

I got the nail.

The hole where the nail used to be bothers me.

I have begun to scratch drawings with the nail into the faded wall. I like drawing.

There is more black underneath. I tried to draw my room today — I can not draw a perfect square though. I am so close to it.

I moved on to another wall. Keep trying.

Running out of wall space. I have begun to draw on the floor. It feels so close.


I think that is it. I think I have done it. The most perfect drawing of my perfect room. A perfect cube. A perfect. A perfect cube.

I painted everything else completely black, except my cube.

I am very good at drawing squares now. I can trace the square of light.

The light constantly moves, so my squares are not perfect.

There is a perfectly white square clock on one of the walls. I do not remember ever seeing it. The clock reads Nine Thirty Six.

Tick    Tick    Tick    Tick

Tick    Tick    Tick     Tick

Tick    Tick    Tick    Tick

The ticking will keep me sane in the silence.

I lied. The door is also a perfect square.


The hands of the clock are trapped in a never ending dance. They will never catch each other — they will always practically get on top of each other, but they will never actually touch, catch each other. They will just keep spiraling and spiraling. So close to perfection.


The ticking is too loud. I threw my nail at the clock. I threw it again.


And again.


And again.


My nail is bent at a weird angle. Probably from throwing. It looks weird. Broken.


I threw my nail out the window. I do not want broken things. They are broken.


I think the clock is ticking unevenly. I think it is broken. It feels off.


I do not want it.



I tore out the hands of the clock and threw it out the window. Now there is a white square frame hanging on the wall.

See? No more ticking. I do not need ticking to keep me sane. Keep me in rhythm.

The room feels small.

The window is definitely not doing enough. It feels very stuffy in here, hard to breath.

Were the walls around me always this perfectly black?

It makes me uncomfortable.

Maybe I will try to open the door.

I tried to open the door. I placed my hand on the knob and turned. It is not locked. I did not actually open the door.

I opened the door today.

There are cracks in the walls outside, unbound fractals swirling around abstract curves. Different hues of red, yellow, and blue forcefully pierce their way into the dirtied black. The smell of smell permeates the air and sounds, noises, crack the air. There is light, too much light — not controlled, not owned by anything or anybody, moving everywhere, anywhere — filling. There is too much information, and it leaves my head absolutely spinning. There is a strange rust taste in my mouth.

I walked back inside.

There is something comfortable about the oppressive nature of perfection. I revel in its tyranny.

I am back in my perfect cube.

The room is perfect square.

The room is an absolute perfect cube.

I checked again. Twenty steps each side.