I am learning that my apartment can actually influence my behavior so that I stay inside it more often, stroking its flimsy ego with my very presence. It can’t actually speak to me or change the dimensions of the rooms, but it can alter my perceptions so that I think the walls are closer or further away, or that plaintive whines and angry edicts are bubbling up through the kitchen sink.
During my first few weeks of residence, my apartment released a cloud of spores carrying its consciousness into the air above the ceiling fan, which disseminated them over my sleeping body. The spores made their way through the mucoid lining of my lungs, coursing through my bloodstream and have now taken up residence within the folds of my brain.
Comfortably lodged in my grey matter’s soft folds, the parasitic spores communicate the wishes of my apartment by plucking on various synapses and nerve endings like tiny harpists, causing me to see and hear things that influence me to stay inside all day long.
This happens all the time in nature.
When I woke up this Saturday, the ceiling was no more than six inches from my face, and breathing heavy, measured breaths. The wind shrieked at the windows, and the room was so dark that I couldn’t even see the front door. The only source of light came from my laptop’s inviting glow.
I sat down and checked my email, scanned a few websites and fiddled with my Bittorrent client. The people walking past my apartment looked stupid, every last one of them. Their laughter sounded hollow and forced, as though they were being paid a very low wage to convince me to go outside.
A deep, throaty voice gurgled out of the sink, saying “those people sure are suckers, aren’t they? Going off to pay too much for breakfast and coffee at some dumb restaurant. Why, you’re an incredible cook and you’ve got an espresso machine…why would you want to fall in with that crowd out there?”
I had to concede the sink’s point. The next thing I knew, it was five-thirty and I was still sitting in there in the underwear I had worn to work on Friday. Maybe on Thursday, too.