The attic

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A cold visited me on Thursday, simultaneous with the arrival of a solid week of house guests, my out-laws. For the first few days, I tried to power through and be the perfect host. I’ve cooked big sit-down meals (washing my hands compulsively) and yesterday drove them all the way to Smith Rock, hiked for a couple of miles, and then drove them back. When we got home from the epic day trip, I went to bed almost immediately. Sleeping has been really rough with the cold, dealing with congestion and post nasal drip and … eww. I’m grossed out just describing it. When Melody finally came to bed, I quickly decided I wouldn’t be able to sleep with someone else in the bed, and I retreated all the way to the attic bedroom.

The attic bedroom was last used by my ex-, the Sorority Girl. No one has lived in it since she left; the space has since been rehabilitated into a play room. There’s still a bed and tissues up there, so it seemed like a reasonable place for a sick person to sleep for the night. It worked well; I slept better than I had in three days. It is utterly quiet up here. You can’t hear a single noise from the rest of the house. Really, you can’t hear much from the rest of the world. On the main floor, you can hear neighbors walking by, passing street traffic, lawn mowers, kids playing. Up in the attic, everything is still and quiet, terribly peaceful.

As much as this is exactly what I need right now, I can’t help but imagine how disturbing a steady dose of this could be. It could quickly get disorienting, isolating. A person could get stuck in their own head, running in circles around the same mental paths over and over again, going nowhere, a hamster in wheel running frantically and going nowhere.

I begin to wonder if living in this room had something to do with the Sorority Girl getting increasingly distant and incapable of communicating over the last four years of our relationship.

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