Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Energy Conservation

Inside and outside were much the same. The heat had been off for weeks. A letter had come through the slot apologising for the inconvenience. She'd adjusted to it. She'd turned all the knobs to their highest setting, but nothing had come out. If it was really cold, she turned the oven on, but mainly, she just wore a coat and sneezed through the better part of January. There were perks--no need for a fridge.

She woke up from a bad dream. Her eyeballs were drying out. Was it a dream or Ah....They had fixed the central boiler. She got up to take a drink and stared at the empty space where the fridge used to be. Maybe she'd lengthen the counter. The juice was outside. Orange vs. pineapple. It was just a bleeding contest. She wanted a song. She turned the volume down and gathered together a few remaining ends. Out of papers. She cut up some giraffe patterened tissue paper. It sufficed in emergencies.

She'd been without a fridge for a month. It just didn't seem like an emergency at all. It had been cold inside and out. She only needed it to keep the milk and the pate on the doorstep. As it was winter, nature sufficed. She still hadn't figured out which one she wanted: old or new, tall or short. They were all the same. It just seemed like someone else's job to choose a fridge, but there was no one else to help her choose. It fell off the end of her to do list.

She wasn't ready to quit. It hadn't been a resolution. Her neighbor gave her three cigarettes after every meal, and she rationed them out as if it were wartime. It was his idea. Otherwise, she wouldn't be smoking at all. She denied it on her insurance policy, to her doctor, and to her ashtray. It never got used. The tissue paper held together long enough for a few drags. She stubbed it out on the desk and scooped it up with her library card. She poured the ashes into an empty bag of cashews and returned to bed. She made a resolution not to do that again. It was damaging the veneer.

The canvases stood unwrapped leaning against the door frame. A bowl of dumplings sat fermenting in the sink. Videos spilled out of the cabinet. Dr. No had lost his envelope. A flute rested on a stack of important papers. She'd missed an appointment. Nothing an hour of cleaning couldn't fix. House Beautiful was moments away. She'd do it soon before she tripped over any more of it. She'd do it. She wasn't down. She was just conserving energy. 

1 comment:

DOGBOY said...

I love the way it hangs right at the edge of "abstract" almost not coherent, and yet it is. but with enough unknown left over for me to fill in the spaces with MY OWN narrative.