Final Part: Pop, Past, Present.
(Content Warning: Rape, sexual assault)
I enter the bathroom. It breathes; inhales and exhales. It’s dimensioning wild and obscene. You don’t know where it ends and the rest of the building begins.
In the middle of the restroom is a large, black obelisk. It towers over everything else and poses itself as a formidable challenge, though what kind of challenge it is supposed to evince you have no clue.
Surrounding the obelisk is a group of figures: Bill, Bowman, and HAL’s own terminal existing as an independent collection of technology floating free in the ether. Each figure wears a mask; how you are able to tell each one apart is beyond you. You figure, though, that this is the least of your problems.
Hal speaks: “Are you ready?”
“Ready for what?” You reply.
“To recover what you lost, of course,” says Bill.
“I didn’t lo– what did I lose?”
“That is something only you can find out,” says Bowman with a depressed look in his eye, clearly reflecting on the losing of his mate into the confines of space.
The group parts. They take several steps backward and motion for you to approach the obelisk.
You carefully step forward, still unsure of what is exactly happening. Each step echoes throughout the vast chamber like a gunshot. It fills you with dread and causes your heart to race. You are scared shitless. You don’t want to be here. You want this to end. You want your innocence back.
Slowly raising your hand, though, compelled forward by an unknown force, you softly touch the smooth, chilled surface of the obelisk. It is normal enough, at first, but quickly and suddenly you are thrust into a netherworld of sorts, flung flying throughout the cosmos before landing on your dorm’s floor.
That is when you notice yourself; literally, you see yourself: this was you just last night. You see that you are shitfaced, blackout drunk. You are being escorted to your room by the guy you met at the party. He is careful to time his own steps with your own intoxicated meandering.
You follow you and him. They enter the dorm but you are unable to enter. Scrambling for a way into your room, you suddenly remember the key you found earlier in the hallway. You search your jeans for it and find it; taking it in your hands you find that the peculiar key that once held filmic significance has since resumed its normal shape– your dorm room key.
You use the key and fling yourself through the door, ghost-like, into your dorm.
You and the guy are on the bed. They cannot see you. You and he are making out sloppily. You lie down and he lies with you, stroking you and kissing you and other such activities. At first, you return his affection but as he gets more aggressive, you start pawing him away, not feeling in the mood for intimate activities in your inebriated state.
The guy doesn’t seem to take “no” for an answer, though, and he redoubles his efforts. It is almost casual how easily he controls your limbs and movements, your drunken body barely understanding what is happening. This is getting harder for you to watch; though you think you know what is coming you force yourself to continue watching anyway, as you need to know for sure.
The guy and you continue the dubiously consentful amorous activities. You see that your pants and underwear is now bunched around your ankles. He continues touching and caressing you. He tries to flip you onto your stomach but you manage to push him away; he does not like that, though, and hits you hard, and then again. You cannot tell if this has knocked you out or if you have only feigned unconsciousness to stop the violence.
In either case, the result is that he flips you onto your back. You watch what happens next. You reach for the condom Joker handed you only to find that it has since been torn and tattered into a dozen pieces; you turn away from your brutal sexual assault and cry.
You don’t know where, how, or why it happened, but after a time you find yourself back in the student center bathroom. The dimensions are normal. The Kubrick inspired character festival is gone. Your backside hurts with a vengeance and you wail and sob like there is no tomorrow.
Eventually, one of your friends finds you and says that they have been looking for you all day. They don’t understand why you are crying; it will be some years before you are able to confide in them what happened to you and even longer before you are able to accept it.
Your world was torn apart. Your faith in people destroyed. Though you slowly rebuild you will not be the same. From here on out it will be a daily struggle to overcome your distrust of people. You will no longer drink, though know that your alcohol consumption did not excuse what happened to you; you blame yourself a lot but know that it was his fault, not you, not your drinking.
It will be a long road to recovery. You remain positive or try to, at any rate. You attempt to find others who experience what you endured and slowly, piece by piece, pick up the fragmented past to make a better future.