the house of vise

You have been there, have you not?

A place outdoors. The air is fresh and clean. The breathing easy and healthful. You are relaxed, centered and calm. Free, if but for a while, of burdens, concerns, worries and troubles.

Then it arrives. A stench. An odor permeating your clean space. Perhaps it’s from a passing garbage truck. An underground sewer. Another’s potent body odor. Fumes from automobiles, trucks or buses. Tobacco. A handful of possibilities from a long list.

With the odor arrives a person. A person of quiet speech and profound presence. She is watching you, but not from behind the tree in the park. She stands nakedly revealing her presence without guise or fear.

She is watching you, in your stillness and your action. They, the watchings, are not kind, neither compassionate. They are watchings with the sharpness of blades and daggers and you are their target.

Yesterday presented a most rare opportunity: to have the house to myself. Gone for a day’s outing were my two roommates — my two-legged roommates, that is — leaving me in utter peace and privacy and on a day that I truly needed it, after the emotional devastation the day prior.

The freedom, the relief, the ease and the comfort were incredible, overdue and oh so needed. So needed.

I had my bedroom door open, letting the clean air whirled in from the window fan flow — a brief respite and departure from (roommate’s) imposed dictate that my door will be shut at all times, even as all remaining doors are allowed to remain open.

I tasted freedom. I was a child of the ’60s!

Then returned the boot to the throat. Roommates returned. No more than half a minute had passed before my door was shut tight by the reigning roommate. Her will and her willfulness. Her rules. Her controls. Her ways. My preference: unimportant. Desires? Pfffshaw. Dinner for the gators in the moat. My presence: fit to be squelched and removed.

The stench and clamping vise veritably chemically altered the fresh air dare I say. Hers is a presence that imposes a suffocating and ever-watchful vigilance potent and so palpable, even the strongest might wither beneath.

From that moment of her return, the house altered. No longer was it a house of opened doors cleansed by the luscious sweet sunhiney Colorado air.

It became a house of controls, sharp surveillance, sharper still the ill thoughts behind the odious watching eyes.

Is it Halloween already?!


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