February 1st, 2009


So you live in an apartment for ages, get used to all the tricks of the door locks and the shower faucet, keep your shorts available during the winter because you know the heat is unpredictable, realize there is a tiny bloodstain on a floortile here or there and don’t worry about it because it’s probably yours, tape things to every available surface, install splitters on the phone jack and a power bar on the electrical jack and generally just assume that the place is your domain and you know it cold.

And then, one day you get the flu. And you spend that day, and subsequent ones, in a semi-coherent haze on your couch, unable to tolerate food or music or conversation or even text most of the time. Supine on your couch, you simply try to keep as silent and still as possible (sometimes motion-sickness can be triggered by the motion of a footstep, or even rolling over too quickly). And during one of your more lucid, conscious periods, you suddenly realize:

Everything in this apartment makes a tiny tiny noise.

Aside from the resounding *thunk* of the refrigerator switching off, it has a steady, low-tenor hum at all times, it seems. Hours after the DVD has ended and the TV set been turned off, it still makes static-y little clicks. The laptop’s motor whirs at random hours for no reason at all (yes, the laptop is always on, “just in case”), and I can hear the elevator cable down the hall making horrible squeaking noise each time it ascends (this does not increase my desire to ride the elevator). Also, the west-wall neighbour takes a lot of showers and I think their shower is directly behind my stove. The north-wall neighbour is passionate and vocal about hockey. And the ceiling neighbour has a deeply confusing erotic life that I still haven’t figured out.

I know so much now, way too much. I’m pleased to be sitting up today for extended periods (I was doing quite will on a 15-minutes work/45-minutes nap schedule there for a while) and I hope to keep the stereo on throughout. If I owe you an email or a phone call, you’ll get it soon, and if you’ve already received one that read or sounded like a fever dream–well, it probably was. Sorry. I hope I didn’t mention the rattle in the heating ducts.

She runs guns / everyone wants guns

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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