This will be a long, strange night because of household politics. Tomorrow morning, perhaps around nine or ten in the morning, my mother and my visiting niece are going to start moving things from elsewhere in the house into the empty half of my bedroom.
I have the largest bedroom. My mother has long thought that I really don’t need all the space.
And my sister, who now lives in the house, is a bit cramped. Some of Mom’s stuff takes up shelves on one wall in my sister’s room, and some of my sister’s stuff is meanwhile piled up in a short disused hallway.
So I found a plan inexorably lowered upon me - it arrived in stages, and I pushed back as best I could, over I believe more than the course of a year, but I found that my sister’s presence finally deprived me of a scale balance in my favor that I felt I could defend - under which my (formerly my) room will be split in half.
A wall of shelves will be erected, bisecting the room. (I report with deep melancholy that I’ll go from a space with three windows to a cavern with a single window, and I’ll no longer have A Door Of My Own.)
The far side of the room, behind the wall of shelves, will contain a lot of my sister’s and mother’s things and will also be turned into a project space for my mother.
My mother knows that I am feeling a bit . . . compressed by this development. (Compressed? Cinderellaesque.) Allegedly this feeling of compression will grant me the moral high ground for a while - Mom has told me this, whatever it means (it is remarkably hard to actually cash in moral high ground).
But the compression is a little more acute than she’s aware of, particularly at this exact moment.
“Into the empty half of my bedroom.”
A. Due to disagreements about my, ahem, tidiness level, and resulting psychologically necessary boundary issues and so on, I haven’t let Mom peek into this room in years. Best for everyone.
So Mom’s idea of how much I use the space has been purely theoretical . . . In short, she has no idea of how much stuff I’ve had on the far side of the room! My room was already full to reasonable density standards. In fact a bit overfull. All the way around.
With that in mind, add these modifiers . . .
B. That wall of shelves that will bisect the room are where I am to keep a lot of the displaced things. The shelves will face toward me. That’s the plan. But those shelves are currently elsewhere in the house, holding many of the very things of my mother’s and my sister’s that are about to be moved. So those shelves cannot be moved and become available for my use until my mom and sister have emptied them into the far side of this room. So I don’t have those shelves to empty a lot of the far side of the room into. But I still have to empty it.
(I broached their putting their things on the floor - what the heck, they’re about to pick them up and carry them all anyway - and allowing me to carry the shelves in here and build the wall and then move things on the far side of the room straight into them, but the suggestion didn’t even find a sentence’s worth of purchase.)
The floor space in “my half” of the room, which is about to become the entirety of my room, is almost completely taken up by a square king-sized mattress.
The very narrow periphery of carpet to each side of it and behind my head is already almost entirely taken up by existing shelf units and a chest of drawers. That are already completely full.
In short . . .
I have to . . .
How the hell do I . . .? Where . . . ?
Naturally, being a functional adult who is not at all neurotic or organizationally challenged, I had begun to make some limp gestures at consolidating some disarray on “my side” to try to make room that isn’t there . . . and I, well, made some rustling noises . . . but I have been, to put it squarely, paralyzed by this conundrum until sometime yesterday.
I had been forewarned, about three weeks worth. And now, tonight, my niece has arrived from the airport and she is sound asleep out there on the sofa, and - as Mom has been telling me for the whole three weeks - they will start moving things in here in the morning. (My sister will take the car tomorrow, and this has been Mom’s plan for how she will occupy my niece on this day.)
It’s no trouble at all to type in this quick entry. I’ve had more than enough coffee for a brisk Saturday morning when we’re off to the zoo and I want to navigate the sunny paths with vim and vigor and crisp authority, and I’ve taken my morning ADD pill too. But it is not Saturday morning. It is Tuesday evening, and I took in all this caffeine and this particular ADD pill at 9 o’clock at night, with the windows black outside.
Say, apropos of nothing, has anyone with perfect pitch or a computer ever managed to identify exactly what note the high, thin singing in your ears is? Has there been work on narrowing that down?
Anyway. Driven now by irresistible forces . . .
(meaning, I have no appetite for dealing with an angry, frustrated Mom when severely sleep-deprived - and the remaining measure of dignity would be largely taken away by the presence of my niece, who, while a longtime active dislike of me may now be in abeyance through disuse, is not a person to whom I’d look to for support or particular mercy, and who seems primed to find an embarrassing crisis far too funny)
(which is a reason why the resolution can’t look too horribly messy in the morning, either - and no room looks worse than when it’s in active transition) (ecch)
. . . driven by irresistible forces, as I was saying, I’ve finally taken a fair amount of computer equipment out to the garage for disposal. (But those things were mostly taken from “under/behind” nooks. Mom won’t even notice.) And I’ve located and moved the core collections of half-filled notebooks and ancient dot-matrix printouts of my personal off-Net writings going back to the late 1980s, concern for which fragments is the Great Terror as far as mother-led disruptions. And a casual question I asked without much hope, which seemed to find a momentary gap in my mom’s armor by random accident, means I don’t have to clear out a giant, immovable, quite full shelf unit just to the right of the door, at least not immediately or tonight. Giving me a LITTLE breathing room.
But not enough. There is the whole sweep of tables, made of old doors laid on file cabinets, that line the wall across from me and half the wall to my left in an L shape.
Covered with things, categories of things, sections of things.
And the array of other objects in front of those tables.
And, crap, the contents of the file cabinets themselves!
(Oh man, Gwen’s big stash of, well, extremely personal items. I can just see my niece reacting to those. But I can’t throw out . . . but where could I . . . ?! Think of something else.)
Be darned if I’m not going to end up getting my last-minute trace of sleep with this wide king mattress here covered with a high, precarious castle of stacked boxes and odd objects, except for a twin-sided nibble on the right edge that I’ll balance on. There’s just nowhere over here!
How much of a visible jammed can’t-work would this have to be for Mom to back off the plan? Probably too much of one. I’d be astonished. She’s been on this project-space idea for years.
I can’t even fill up the closet any more than I have - honest - because, in a trick of timing, I will have to dry Durban Poison marijuana branches along the row of coathangers in just a week or two. I’ll need the space. Absurd hobbies do lean themselves to compound absurdity.
Even after I have this new wall of shelves to cram things into, I’m now going to be nesting in the bowels of a rather bookish, poorly decorated pawn shop, basically. A padded-floor pit. The one window I’ll have is shaded and obstructed, which I’ve admittedly liked because it faces the street and the plum tree means that I can heedlessly strip at night with the lights on without fretting about remembering to drop the blinds, but all the blessed daylight has spilled in through those other two windows over there . . . and I’ll have been relegated. . . (No, cancel, I’m too tired and increasingly wired to speculate about upcoming psychological/existential decline or collapse from the new conditions and the insult to personal space. I just tried, but that excess-caffeine-induced emotional flatness has arrived. I’m coldly composing, borderline faking. No dice. Cancelling bemoaning of fate.)
And I needed to - process - by Proseboxing about the moment’s predicament, but now I notice that this has now crossed over to procrastination. So now I will save this and get on with the disheveled spatial version of the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
THERE IS NO ROOM.
Midnight yellow light is very yellow.
Here we go.
Last updated September 26, 2018