Neurophysiologist Katherine Rankin has recently discovered that sarcasm is an evolutionary survival skill.
My apartment has finally begun to feel as if I live there after four years in the same place. I blame my godmothers things, taking up all the space. I blame her silver sun framed mirrors, her plants, her rows of carefully chosen objects that took decades to find. When I come home after work, my apartment smells like her, as if somehow she’d been visiting. Flour and myrrh and coconut and frankincense, thick swirls, flavours mixing with my own, the cats, candles, cardboard, and sunshine.
Every box is a new mystery, a penny worth of mystery, full of a mixed assortment of silver, food, tiny antiques, and tired moments of what is this, exactly? One very large box is entirely filled with spices, crushed leaves in tiny clear plastic bags, some with labels too faded to read, some in oddly shaped bottles that makes me think they weren’t purchased within my life-time. They hint at delicious meals, semi-exotic flavours, interesting combinations of taste. Where will I find room? I still don’t know. It was a feat enough collecting them together.
All I need is time, extra time, time tucked into crannies of minutes, the creases of hours meeting hours, needle thin threads of seconds adding up, secretive whispers of moments stolen from inattention, from bad decisions, from missing busses and losing keys, from distraction, procrastination, and the tips of fingernails, all added up. Enough time and it will all be done, the boxes will be unpacked, the things put away, the dust hoovered up, the disaster removed. My living environment will be cosy, friendly, cheerful and clean, the way I want it to be as soon as living possible.
David has gone out to meet with an old friend tonight, someone he hasn’t seen in a very long while. They might come back here after dinner, they might not. In either case, I am staying in, seeing what can go where, discarding as much as possible, skipping dinner, clearing space, creating a country, declaring sovereignty over the scattered boxes. I really wanted to go with him, painfully so, especially when he called, asking me to join them, but already I can see progress. There is more than only a path from one end to the other, there is space to walk, space to sit, space to wander around, room to better maneuver through the war.
When I can no longer stand it, when I stand in the kitchen, a dish in hand, seriously contemplating smashing it to save cleaning it, I go back and re-work my summary paragraph for Vitka’s dystopia novel, the one that’s going to go to the publishers as a Here, Buy This Book! It’s a nice distraction, something soothing in the middle of the dusty cardboard love song.
Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machine, an interactive china-smashing sculpture by Yarisal and Kublitz