A New World (Part 2 of a Series)

22 November 2015

And then I opened the door. A new world appeared before me. A world of mundane bliss. A world of peace, where obnoxious creditors could not find me. A world without inane wastes of time such as Twitter and Facebook. A world where cell phones and blogs did not exist. A world that had a ready supply of toilet paper. And food. A world where I would never experience hunger. A world where I would never experience solitude. A world where I would never experience the sensation of high or stoned; I felt ambivalent about these last two, yet welcomed them nonetheless. I welcomed the alien freedom from the obsessive need to fill my self with things and substances from outside myself.

This world looked as though I walked into a time machine. The winter white Queen Anne sofa drew my eye immediately. If I still had grandparents, this tiny sitting room would belong to them. The place smelled of fresh bleach. A girl ~ one of the residents ~ came into the room to vacuum, while I waited to get processed. The vacuum smelled like a combination of burnt rubber and doggie, though no dog lived there.

I had not signed my name so many times on so many different pieces of paper since my RN days. I looked at my bags, and tried to hide how shell-shocked and ashamed I felt at having reduced my entire existence to the things held in those 3 suitcases. The staff member rifled through my things, confiscating my notebook computer, my cell phone, my camera and my wallet. And, of course, looking for anything with which I could harm myself. She had me place all of my clothing and my pillow in the dryer on high heat, just in case I had bed bugs.

I felt that uncomfortable uneasiness known as humility. I felt especially wretched for having skipped out on my landlord. I simply walked away from it all, leaving the mess of my former existence for him to remove. Did that make me a bad person? Yes, yes it did.

Ten girls lived in the house; I would make it eleven. The girls whirred about, like automatons in a giant machine. Each, a cog that knows her part, knows what to do and when to do it. I felt blinded by my new surroundings, needing someone to lead me around and tell me where to find everything. I wondered how long it would take to feel like I lived here. Because, right then, in that moment, I felt like a guest.



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