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Tim Schafer Tim

Whoever is calling the back conference room, please stop calling the back conference room! Or at least stop leaving messages. The back conference room does not want your message.

Okay, the truth is we don’t know the password to the mail box that’s linked to the back conference room, or “The Cold Room,” as we call it. So when you call and leave message there, you make the voicemail light on the phone blink. It’s blinking right now, and no one here knows the password to shut it off. So that light will blink FOREVER. Seriously. Your voice will be suspended in an electronic coffin that no one will ever be able to dig up. Just thinking about it makes my eye twitch. God, I can see the light out of the corner of my eye RIGHT NOW.

And you might think this is only a problem when I sneak back to the cold room for a nap, because the light blinks in my face and makes it hard to sleep for longer than 90 minutes MAX. But its not just that. Even when I’m home, in my own bed, it keeps me up. I lay there away thinking of that damn conference room phone.

I imagine it sitting there, slowly flashing, all night long. Double Fine peacefully sleeping, all the lights off (except for Dave Dixon who always leaves his light on because I think he’s trying to prove some sciencey thing about tungsten) and the whole place is dark except down the back hallway. You see something. A shimmer. A glow, and then it’s gone. But there it is again! What is it? What is that red light? Where did it go? Except you’re not really there. No one is there to see it.

Diffused by the plastic ripples of the transparent, dotcom-era walls, the red light blinks on and then off, and then on. Refracted and silent, like a turn signal on a sunken car at the bottom of a moonlit lake. Blink. Blink. Blink. Who’s in the car? How can we get them out? Have they been down there long? We’ll never know. The password is lost. The messages are stacking up.

“Please pick up some milk on the way home, honey.”
“I’m calling about the job posting.”
“Is there anyone there? I’m down stairs. Please let me in.”
“There’s a problem with your rent check. Call me back immediately.”
“Where were you last night?”
“Your cab is here.”
“This is the clinic. We have your test results.”

Why would you call an empty room? Who do you hope will answer? You might as well tell your problems to a handful of dirt and then toss it in the wind. In fact, you’d be much better off doing that. As long as nobody sees you do it. Because you’d never be able to live THAT one down.

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