I woke up and the house was chilly. I really didn’t want to leave the nice, warm spot on my bed. I was wrapped up in C____’s panties and dreaming of her, and when I sat up and hit the cool air I didn’t want to leave any of it.
But I sensed something was up. You can just sense these things. It’s like waking up and all the sound is a little louder, all the clocks are a little fast, the walls are a little closer than before, and more people than usual on the street are noticing you. That’s what it’s like when your personal bomb is about to drop.
Being unable to flick the light switches on and off, I had to trot downstairs and look around. Daylight streamed through the windows, lighting up all the rooms. But when I hooked a right into the kitchen, no warm exhaust air blew from under the fridge. It wasn’t humming. I looked around: the digital clocks on the oven and microwave were blocked from my view, and the wall clock in the kitchen runs on batteries.
I sprinted to the living room and climbed up my end table, my base of operations, my yoga studio, all of it. The smartphone was down to 32% power, having wasted most of its energy searching for Wi-Fi all night. That meant the router was down, and I saw that the phone was no longer charging, despite being plugged in.
I couldn’t even form the thought that the grid might have gone down, interrupted by the fact of one incoming, unread text message. My stomach dropped before I opened it.
Long story, short: things had changed. She was furious and frustrated but it was all out of her hands, and her heart was breaking but I’m on my own now. Her agent would sell the house, fully furnished. Minus one tiny man.
She also talked about our relationship, but I have no need to share any of that here, except to say, to admit that I do see things from her side. If I’m completely honest, caretaking a tiny person isn’t a convenience. More like an exquisite burden. I get that. And I’ve done things to move the needle from exquisite to burden. And that’s as much as I need to say on that here.
Personal possessions: well, I don’t need the phone. It’s larger than me, I’d never be able to bring it anywhere. I took my time going back upstairs to stuff my wardrobe into one of her tennis socks. And that’s about it for personal possessions. I did not keep C____’s panties, and I didn’t bother to hide her compromising photo on the bed. Merry belated Christmas, real estate agent.
By the time I got downstairs, I realized how stupid it would be to haul a fucking sock around town. I tied the sleeves of one shirt and stuffed it with my clothes, and I looked around the house one more time. The agent would have to make sense on their own of what all the little threads on the furniture in the kitchen meant, and what was going on with the elaborate obstacle course model on the coffee table. I thought about going back for some jerky, but there’s plenty of food outside for someone who knows where to look. I used to, I’m sure I can figure it out again.
What I couldn’t figure out was how to get out of the house. All the windows were sealed, the front door was relatively new and secure against the elements, and I didn’t know where the vents led but I was sure they didn’t dump outdoors. In the end, all I could do was set up a little base camp of a bed and preserved foods by the front door, waiting for the real estate agent to show up, which she did in three days.
The lock beeped and woke me up when I happened to be dozing. The massive door sucked air as it swung on its hinges, and when the agent’s beige pumps stepped inside, when her large, soft feet compressed in that tight leather right next to me… well, there was a moment when I considered approaching her, convincing her very rapidly to…
No. I didn’t. I just grabbed my clothes and hustled out the door into the sunshine. The enormous door closed behind me, I checked for small animals before sprinting into the tall grass of the yard, and we all know where this story goes.