12 Minutes Alone in Your Apartment…

This morning while you were in the shower I had 12 minutes alone in your apartment.

The first moment I sat staring straight ahead wrapped in your blankets, a hand, a wrist, an arm resting on your pillows. Everything here is just slightly colder than my place – perhaps you are a degree warmer and not prone to goosebumps.

Secondly, I notice the dust that has collected on your windowsill which makes you less and more at once.

In the third minute I climb back under the covers, face down on your pillow which smells like hair products and sleep. I laugh to myself as I hear the protesting rumble of a blowdryer coming from the direction of the bathroom. My own hair sticks straight up into oblivion and swirls around your sheets in a rebellious tangle.

In the fourth minute I contemplate your closet – organized and hung – I touch the textures of your garments, a sleeve, a pant leg the cuff of what I like to imagine might be your favorite shirt. This also, takes only a minute

By the fifth moment I have noticed the trail of discarded clothing abandoned haphazard and unwanted on the living room floor. I picked up my clothes piece by piece alienating nakedness one garment at a time. Your clothes I fold slowly, reading your t shirt (some British band I’ve never heard of) and place everything carefully on the dresser. This act, in and of itself, feels too familiar and I consider unfolding and scattering your clothes once again. I don’t.

Folding clothes took both the fifth and sixth moment. I felt slightly cheated.

The seventh, eight, ninth and tenth moment I use for observing the way in which you’ve arranged your bookshelf. I drag my hand lazily over the titles and textures. They are in order of colour. I come to the concusion that you don’t read, but the books are there for show, as is the starkly arranged bar in the corner of your kitchen as you drink nothing but beer.

In the 11th moment I call a cab, reading your address off of a bill that I find on the counter. A phone bill, unopened.

In the 12th moment, I take a deep breath. I smell your apartment. It smells like nothing. Nothing at all. It is as if you have never cooked, never cleaned, never smoked or drank, lived or breathed here. It is as if you never existed. I say goodbye to this moment, this and the other 11 moments and leave. The door closes behind me, I wait for a click. You cease to exist and the world become one person smaller for me.


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