Delicate, Sensitive, Balanced Instrument


I’m in a room which I’ve been renting at the top of the stairs in an old house.  I must pack in a hurry and move out of the house; if I don’t, something terrible will happen to me.


There’s only one closet full of clothes, but it seems to be endless.  How will I fit everything into these suitcases?  I must organize my goods into piles on the bed: a pile for dresses, a pile for plastic headbands, a pile for purple items, a pile for secret things which must be hidden.


I’m working as fast as I can, but the housemates keep coming by and interrupting me; I don’t have any underwear on, and every time a housemate comes around, I can’t bend over the bed to organize my piles, and I must stop working…politely encourage them to leave without seeming like I am running away.


One teenage girl will not leave; she lays on the bed in the middle of my dresses and socks.  I need to be nice to her: she has a hair trigger temper and if I piss her off, something bad will happen to me.  Only…I don’t know what it is that will trigger her.


THEY are riding the escalator up to the second floor.

THEY are coming relentlessly.

I have roped off the escalator landing, but THEY break through the ropes.

I must stop packing, stop mollifying the teenager, and fling THEM over the landing, one by one, as THEY arrive at the top of the escalator.

THEY say nothing; THEY just keep coming slowly up the stairs.

I am afraid THEY will soon come too fast and I won’t be able to push THEM off the landing…crack…as THEIR skulls hit the stones in the entrance…and still pack and get out of the house in time…before something TERRIBLE will happen to me.

I realize THEY are not coming to eat me or to kill me or to hurt me or tear my limbs or inject me with chemical substances.

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THEY are coming to CRITICIZE me.

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