Last Saturday and Sunday I helped Willie with some landscaping. Apparently this signified the beginning of a life change for me where I was supposed to spend several hours every day for the rest of my stay here helping him with his busy work.
I don’t mean that as an offensive term although it may sound that way, it’s the kind of work that is very personal to him and it’s not the kind of work I’m used to. Based on my entire life, trying to avoid letting people down and getting yelled at, I’m not good at making decisions. Especially decisions that may almost definitely go against what he thought. In other words, whatever I do on my own is wrong.
Even when he tells me a specific task, it’s hard for me to know the details of the specifics. Almost all of the work involved is moving this from here to there and my there and his there seem to be different most of the time. None of this has any priority except in his mind as it has essentially been what he has done for the last 15 years and before that probably for the 50 years of his entire life.
Moving this from here to there.
To recently when I wasn’t coming outside to ask if he needed my help every hour I upset him. Not asking if I can help became offensive and upsetting to him. I never did in the past 2 years but now he was aware of it.
Last weekend in a fit of emotional rage caused partially by personal news of a friend going into palliative care, he was overly sensitive and exploded on me for my messiness and smell and general hygiene. There is no accessible tub or washing machine or easy access to a laundromat and I admit, I have adapted to the life of a slob. I probably do have a substantial body odor because I wear the same clothes over and over but I also don’t leave the house and for the most part don’t leave my room.
Suddenly, as summer approaches and the heat in my bedroom tops towards 100° f the smell has become more noticeable. His fit of anger has announced my new priority is to get everything out of my room into the backyard garbage or recycling so that we can exterminate the bed bugs once and for all.
It’s taken me a while. It’s very hot with no ventilation or circulation. I spent my money so I don’t have fresh clothes bed sheets or pillowcases this week. They’ve been reused a little longer than usual.
But I have made progress I have bagged three bags of garbage a huge amount of recycles and packing all of my electronics into one place. Visually the room is as much a mess as it was on day one but come garbage day on Monday most of it will vanish and we can move out the furniture and proceed.
In my mind, I’m on schedule but because I haven’t been making an appearance and chatting with him and offering condolences or whatever he may need. Because I haven’t been asking if I can help him with the tasks he has proudly done on his own for the last 2 and 1/2 years I’ve lived here, it’s not good enough.
Had the phone not rung just now, I would probably still be out there standing while he yelled at me. I’m not allowed to sit outside anymore because I might have bed bugs. I’m not allowed to pet the dogs or the cats. I don’t dare oppose these rules or talk about logic.
For the most part I understand than agree. Bed bugs are horrible and we’ve been lucky to have kept them in this room. So far
I should have done better at eradicating them from the beginning. He’s going to freak when he sees how bad they are.
I feel like crying. It’s just too hot but I can’t go outside and sit anymore.
By the way they disconnected my internet today so I have about $500 I have to pay this month with $200 incoming to cover it. Shit
I try to imagine what my life might be like if I actually had a backbone and decided to contest some of his yelling at me. Although I don’t always agree, I do almost always fully understand where he’s coming from with his complaints even if some of them are a little over the top.
I always think in my head that I’m a good roommate. I don’t complain. I try to do what I’m told. I make a lot of mistakes but I try my best to never make the same one twice. I do ask for extra instruction and I guess I’m high maintenance in that regard, but if you leave me alone I don’t get in the way and I don’t cause problems.
I imagine what it would be like someone else was living here and he imposed the same kind of rules and yelled the same kind of way. I think I could easily incite him to violence with conflict and that scares me into submission. Or at least my form of submission. I’m still not going to do manual labor.
Especially if I know I’m going to get in trouble for it and it’s silly manually labor. I remember some story about prisoners being tasked with moving rocks from one place to another and then back again as they’re forced labor. I don’t remember what that story’s from but it’s essentially what happens here except with trash. I’m careful not to call it hoarding trash despite that’s what it really is. Everything here on this property has value, the perfect location even if it’s temporary just so that you can move something else, and purpose. Maybe not purpose today but someday I might use those for broken shovels for art.
The ultimate answer for everything. That’s not garbage It is raw material. I can use those 420 aluminum serving dishes for art. I can use those six broken bicycles for art. I can use the tons of wood scraps for art. One day.
I can use those five toasters and three food processors in case one breaks. Or more often than not if I can’t find one I know where the other one is.
Sorry. I got a bit sarcastically defense which is something I’m trying to work on.
End of part 6000