collapse

I’m far from the only one with this problem, and also it keeps cropping up for me —

I wake in the morning (or pause) and make the mental move to orient myself in the day. And — unlike in other years or life-seasons or or or — my mind pulls in a day farther along in the week. Confidently, as if this were accurate. Or, more disorienting still, it pulls in two days together as if they were one… because, just in case being unmoored in time isn’t enough, why not be unmoored in sequence, too?

I’m spending much more energy than I’d prefer in prompting myself:
no, that coffee date is tomorrow; no, that workout is Friday; yes, that meeting is today and you should set an alarm for it in case you slip out of wednesday and land in next tuesday within the next hour.

My experience of time is collapsing on itself, a microscopic leaking black hole of insufficiently differentiated living. Yeah, that’s what it is.

And if that’s what it is, I say it’s because I spent a year and a half going to an in-person school over Zoom — and upon graduation have continued to be in my same house and same rooms making most of the same motions. Today looks & feels a lot like a week ago today like a month ago today.

Time has collapsed on itself like a card-tower pancaking: the moments are all distinct, and also they don’t have much separate presence.

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Or!

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Or my time has collapsed because my space is collapsing.

Not in a roof-failure, walls-failure way, but because My Sweetie and I have set in motion some house-altering projects that we’ve long daydreamed about.

At the very beginning of May, workers began pulling out our prior primary bathroom… with an end goal of a completely reconfigured and refreshed bathroom/dressing room space. Our construction consultant estimated this would take 3-4 weeks. We are in our 7th week. Maybe we’re not supposed to count the week and a half of no motion because the plumber was coming “today” during that span. Except that subtraction still wouldn’t get us back within 4 weeks.

At the beginning of June (as in: last week), we received our kitchen cabinets, as in: stored in our garage. That triggered demolition of our kitchen, where we’ve long dreamed of losing the dropped ceiling, losing the strip of cabinets floating above the cooktop, losing the pale avocado green countertops cracking where they curve into a backsplash. Our construction consultant estimates our kitchen refresh will take 2 weeks, because we’re not moving any plumbing or electrical or walls (aside from that floating strip). If one starts the clock with the kitchen cabinet arrival, however — as I do! — two weeks would have us finished come this Friday. At the one-week mark we are merely at “thoroughly demolished,” so that seems unlikely.

So the part of the house where our floors are (were!) vinyl is visquined off from the part of the house where the floors are (are!) wood. The part of the house where the floors are carpet — said carpet to be replaced at the close of the primary bath project — has visquine curtains on the wood-floor side. Carpet-part is no longer wrapped in visquine and kraft paper down the hall, mercifully, mostly. The tile folk generate a lot of collateral gravel.

Without access to our dining room, our shared table and shared meals are in the living room. Without access to our kitchen, our pantry has consumed our broom closet and we cook and store almost everything else in the laundry room, where the microwave balances on top of the washing machine (still working) and the dryer (disconnected, because it’s gas-heated). The light in the laundry room is permanently on since its switch is behind a visquine wrap.

Without access to our primary bath, the three of us who live here share a double sink, single everything else bathroom. Without access to our primary bedroom — due to the amount of dust and grit churned up (not to mention assorted fumes) — My Sweetie and I have relocated to our guest room. The guest room uses twin beds, so My Sweetie and I are in full Ozzie+Harriet mode. I miss him.

We are compressed.

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At least we’ve had the living room to relax in, unlike during the Big Drywall Project in February, when we only had three usable rooms* in the whole house, and B moved to my parents’ in self-defense.

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My space and time feel so disrupted I’m starting to wonder whether a black hole will spontaneously form. Is it any wonder I don’t know what day it is when I can’t tell you where I am, either? I mean, technically it’s Monday in my home of the past 29 years, but how could you tell-!

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Maybe I’ll start going to coffee shops. Maybe they’ll be big enough my thoughts will be able to expand.

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*Primary suite, office, kitchen. The dining table went into the kitchen that time.

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