"Are you sure you want this?"
"The answers you're looking for aren't in here."
"You don't even know what my questions are."
"Yes, I do."
"What are my questions?"
"They're the same questions everyone has."
"Just open the door."
"OK, you know the rules," the guard said as he handed her two small wooden boxes. "You can touch anything you want. You can explore anything you see. But you may only take two back with you."
"I know," she said.
"I'll come get you when you're time is up."
She stood in front of the wooden door waiting for him to open it. The engraving above the arched doorway said: Center Holding Answers Of Significance. After a moment, she looked at the guard expectantly.
"There is nothing in there that you don't already have out here," he tried explaining to her.
She didn't say anything. He touched his hand to the outside of the door, and it quietly swung open. She stepped inside and heard the door shut behind her.
The infinite room was completely full of what appeared to be tiny bubbles. Shiny round balls, which looked as if they were made out of glassy air, were everywhere. These little mysterious spheres rolled up walls, drifted through the air, scooted around on the floor, and bounced along the ceiling. After watching the room in pure wonder for a moment, her heart began to sink. There would never be any way to figure out where they were all going, and she would never be able to find what she was looking for.
Nothing in this room made any sense. It was just a room full of tiny bubble things. She decided that even if she wasn't going to find the answers she was looking for, she could at least take a look around. She started to take a step forward, but quickly stopped herself. The floor around her feet was covered in the strange tiny balls, and she didn't think it would be a good idea to break any that might get underfoot.
She bent over and picked up one of the balls expecting it to pop, but instead it began to glow bright red. She instantly became enraged to the point that every vein in her head began to severely throb. She looked at the ping-pong sized ball in her hand, and saw there were tiny letters floating around inside: a n g e r.
She let the ball drop from her hand onto the floor, and watched as it collided with another ball. She expected them to bounce off of each other, but instead, they morphed into each other. The two balls became one, however the new ball they had created was no bigger than either one of the original balls.
As she stooped down to pick up the newly created ball, she braced herself for the overwhelming feeling of anger she expected. However, it wasn't anger that flooded her body, but an intense sense of irritation. She peered into the ball which had begun to show different shades of swirling red inside. Through the swirling, she could see more letters floating around: f r u s t r a t i o n.
She wondered what anger could have collided with to form frustration. She began looking around, and realized that these tiny spheres weren't just moving around everywhere. They were colliding and morphing into each other everywhere. Sometimes two would collide, sometimes three. Sometimes a whole cluster of them would move into each other, but no matter how many of these little balls came together, they resulting ball would never get any bigger.
Each ball that she picked up held every different feeling and emotion to ever exist. Indifference left her feeling empty. Nervous put her right on the edge. Loathing made her stomach ache. Elation nearly caused her to forget why she was there in the first place. One by one, she explored the intense emotion contained in each miniature orb. Occasionally she would pick one up that didn't contain an emotion, but rather a more abstract element. Peace brought her soul a calming sense she never believed existed. Death chipped away at her soul bit by bit.
There was no way to tell which balls combined to create which emotions or feelings as they were all constantly transforming into something else with each new encounter. Thousands of people could have spent thousands of hours in this room, and still not figure out the ever-changing emotional equations taking place all around.
She knew her time was limited, and she now somehow had to decide which two she would take with her. She began carefully picking the orbs randomly, but as time went by, the task at hand became more urgent to her somehow. As the pressure to choose the correct elements continued to rise within her, she became more reckless in her search.
The door opened just as she had placed a tiny ball into the last box. She walked toward the door, and followed the guard underneath the doorway. He closed the door behind them.
"Did you get what you came for?"
There was no reply.
"Can I see what you chose?" he asked.
She opened the first box. After he looked inside, she closed it again.
"And the other?"
She hesitated, but then opened the second box. He peered in the second box, and looked back at her. After a long silent moment, he spoke.
"You believe these will give you the answers you are searching for?"
She looked him in the eye, but said nothing. She tucked the boxes away to keep them safe and turned and walked away.