Last week the ceiling came down. I didn’t hear it. I didn’t feel the vibration of concrete and mortar hitting the ground collapsing onto the clothes airer, the coffee table, the sofa I used to sit on in the living room. I didn’t hear it because I was playing records at my partners home.
At 8 pm my flatmate sends me two photos: one showing a huge hole in the ceiling and one of the mess under it. Everything is covered in dust, she writes.
Last week was a lot. My thoughts are interrupted.
I got very drunk a couple of days after that. Celebrating my moving out. Coincidence or fate. Ceiling down or not. I am happy in my new place. I think I am happy. But it is also very hard. This transitioning period from September to October, from “I am used to do it this way “ to “I could also do it that way.” Maybe.
I got very drunk a couple of days after that. Anyway. And I walked home alone at night. And even though I am pretty broke right now, I went into my overdraft and called myself an Uber. “Because you felt vulnerable?” my partner asks when I arrive at 1 am in the morning.
My thoughts are interrupted. I have to change the record I am playing right now. Otherwise I might scratch the needle or the needle will break or the ceiling will come crashing down. Something I know now can happen anytime.
The other day before the news was everywhere, before it all came out, when a woman went missing in Edinburgh, I thought about how I would like to know what happened to Sarah Everard exactly. That I would like to know how it happened. So I could prepare. If there was anything to prepare. Then I would do that. I would just do that.
Now I’m just laughing hysterically.
My thoughts are interrupted. By my landlady. She writes we should have put the rugs back into the bedrooms. The rugs we had treated due to a possible moth infestation and assembled together in the living room. The rugs, the beige and pristine rugs we rolled up in the beginning of our tenancy kept in the storage so they would never get dirty, never be hit by a careless cup of coffee or a glass of red wine.
They are now covered in dust.
Hit by rocks.
As if we should have known.
Ceilings can come down anytime.
Ceilings are not people. Ceilings do not get corrupted, hold misogynist views, plan to murder you.
I am writing people but I mean men. I mean mostly men. I mean that man. Especially.
And what I think is interrupted.
But there is no preparation. There is no: Should have done this. Could have been saved by that.
Ceilings are not people. But they come down because there are cracks. Because they are too old and nobody checked their substance in years. It’s because it is easier and cheaper that way. To pretend it is not happening or it could never happen again. To say: It was just this one ceiling. This very bad one. This one that actually was not a ceiling at all really.
That is all bullshit!
ONE THING TO DO
I don’t know. Scream? Like hell and/or donate to Women’s Aid if you live in the UK or a similar organisation to claim back the streets and our safety.
"I'd like the one with the non-existential dread, please."
My book: "Things I Have Noticed - Essays on leaving / searching / finding” is a poetic memoir, about the process of finding ones own voice.
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK’S MUSE LETTER
How Heavy I Have Gotten
“Last year around this time I was in a rush, a somewhat out-of-body experience of inspiration moving through me and manifesting on paper. Like a fever dream shivering everything into existence. Two months later my book of essays “Things I Have Noticed – Essays on Leaving / Searching / Finding” was in my hands and published consequently with the help of this lovely community.
This year I am also writing but it couldn’t be a more diametrical process.”
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