Sunday, February 7, 2021


 This place has definitely grown weary of my presence. My pillow treating me with disdain, bordering on contempt. I can feel the animosity as I lay my head against it, ready for another marathon session in bed watching countless hours of yet another series recommended to me by, Hell I actually have no clue.

The living room shuddering as I meander through, asking me if I don't have something more productive to do then throw myself on the couch and check my phone every three seconds. 

After nearly a year, I am clearly not at one with my immediate surroundings. Yesterday the cabinet where my favorite snacks are housed refused to open for me. "You are looking decidedly flabby. Do a push up or two. Or, at least, take a brisk walk out of the kitchen."

I am bored with myself so I am painfully aware that this apartment has more than ample reason to hold me in such grave disregard.

I go to the bathroom, to the one point of refuge where I am to certain to feel welcome. Today there is a "Do Not Enter" sign on the door.  The worst is the P.S. "It is not you, it's me.  Do not try to call or text. We're over."

Where can I go to seek solace when my home is no more a home? When my shelter from the storm raging outside my door wants nothing more than shelter from me? 

I find myself conscious of my every move, fearful of each gesture. I head into my closet and reach for my jeans. They have disappeared without a trace. And as I look further, most of my clothes have abandoned me. No note left behind. No hint of where they may have gone or if they have any intention of ever returning, even for a brief visit. Reconciliation vanished from the vocabulary.

I have overstayed my welcome here. The pandemic doing collateral damage, robbing me of the comfort of my own abode. 

When this apartment agreed to take me on it was with the implicit understanding that I would not be underfoot day, after week, after month, hour after minute, after second, my presence a relentless water drip. 

Recently, the bathroom advised that I left little pieces of toilet paper on it, without fail, when I cleaned after a poo (its word, not mine). And that my singing in the shower was like fingers scratching across a chalkboard. 

The kitchen sink informed me that it was really not ok to leave dirty breakfast dishes in its care for hours on end, as it prided itself on its cleanliness.

Even the floors told me not to shuffle my feet across them and to please remember to use the entrance mat well enough so I didn't drag remnants of winter across it.

Worse still, the television in the living room refused to turn to the highlights of last week's World Cup ski race. "You already know what happened, Shiffrin finished sixth." Actually, I didn't know that.

I had tried to distance myself from all the criticism, rationalizing that we were all merely feeling the strain of being forever together. But I dearly underestimated the level of unhappiness. This was far more than irritation. I had now been transformed into the enemy.

I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker of a man swallowed up by a stuffed lion on his wall. I now know how he feels.

I put on what small sliver of attire remains. A summer shirt, even as the icicles outside seem to have formed an imposing barrier to the universe. A pair of shorts, khaki in color. And mismatched ski socks.

In the hall closet my heaviest jacket has seen reason to stay. I thank it for its allegiance and then slip it on gently. The only footwear I now locate are my old sneakers, the tread long but distant memory. 

Poorly armed, I turn the knob to the front door, and head into the frigid air that greets me with a very harsh reality.

Yet it is far warmer than what I leave behind.

Constructively removed from my own apartment on the grounds of massively excessive overuse. Irreconcilable differences.

I hear the sound of the door double locking itself as I descend the stairs. 



Anonymous said...

Oh boy. We have to get you out , if it’s not already too late. Road trip time.


Anonymous said...

We always think you are skiing but
Guess you are limited because of your back
These times test our coping skills and
Not easy


Eileen said...

You are not alone, we are all going a bit loony after almost one year. Hang in there and keep sharing.

Anonymous said...

Cabin fever is killing us all!


Michael Gansl said...

I suggest you go somewhere, anywhere, so that you can say you've come back!