It was a new house looking for character. I naively believed I could add a dash of it. I saw two oceans; one was reflected in the mirror. Mirrors are not real.
I resisted reality.
And then one day we were not moving in. The reason for the house – marriage – was over. But do homes need a reason? I had never met the white bed before. We were strangers. I did not know the turpentine, the bathroom fittings. Hello! I said hello to them because they would be mine. I thought. Alone, in a different city, I was clutching at wood shavings.
I started cutting out bits and pieces from magazines and pasted them on cardboard sheets; a collage had formed. I was hoping that having made a pattern, things would fall into place. Do they ever? The verdict was clear. My house would remain bare of human warmth.
It was easy to tear the collage. I used the pretty cushion covers to dust the shelves even when there was no dust. I imagined future dust growing thick on it and settling like a bored spouse. I kicked the table and hurt my leg. Yet, I kept kicking at it. There was nothing in the kitchen cabinets, except a few jars waiting to be filled. I arranged them on the window sill. Rain water collected in them and overflowed. My cup runneth over. It was so funny, I could cry.
The scent of fresh paint was nauseating. I walked around bare feet on the cold floor. Floors can be so cold. I started counting the rooms. I already knew how many rooms were there; I knew the corners…I had sat on the ground against those very corners when there was not even a chair. I had tried poking my fingers into sockets to see if I could take any shocks. I did not expect shocks, but I could sense their arrival. Not this soon. But, it is never too early.
I picked up the bag filled with stones. They must have been stones for what else can be this heavy? I bolted the door with the heavy lock bought specially to keep me safe. It mocked at me with its brilliant brass shine. The bunch of keys spread like tentacles on my palm and bore dents into the fingers. What mysteries did they wish to unlock?
Since that day, I have never wanted to belong anywhere. I am designed for alienation. There isn't anything to overwhelm me and claim me.
Even in blissful slumber, I am threatened by the nightmare of exits. I start missing people before they have left. I assume they will leave. So, instead of letting experiences grow, I wallow in episodes.
I had taken a picture of the ocean. It showed up as a large black shroud. I forgot to stand against the light, and not all suns can provide a halo. What would I worship, anyway? The vastness of shadows or a drop within reach that would evaporate? The jars pregnant with rain water had to be given away. Nothing would be born.
Announcing the departure of…the undertaker.