Walls Make Neighbours

Walls Make Neighbours

There’s a wall between me
And the gritty city street
Just a wall
Of concrete or brick or shit

One and something feet maybe
Separating me
From everything not-home
Not-nice, not-warm, not even

A not too thick wall
Between me and someone
Next to me
Above me
And next door—the post office

That’s not too much
When you think of it
A teeny-tiny willy-nilly wall
Between you and all not-you
And that’s it

IMG_20171205_131124-01
Abstract concrete
A Week in Instant Pictures

A Week in Instant Pictures

You know how I always say that I’ve been up to nothing? Well, this week I’ve been up to so much shit! Still, I somehow miraculously contrived to make it look like I’ve been nowhere and done nothing. See for yourself.

IMG_20180227_202353_712
Feb 26: Calm waters run deep? I think this sign is here in case someone drowns in a puddle of their own saliva and wishes to press charges. Because people are crazy.
IMG_20180227_202859_785
Feb 27: I’m all for balls, I love balls, but not served like this. This is just perverse.
IMG_20180301_162200_608
Feb 28: The hotel challenge starts. The goal is to find your room. For advanced players: find your room while drunk.
IMG_20180301_162818_010
March 1: The best memory from my business trip are the smoking lounges at airports. Heavenly.
IMG_20180304_113909_360
March 2: On departing from my hotel, I helped myself to some soap. Because I’m fucking poor and I need it more than the hotel.
IMG_20180304_114200_760
March 3: The inevitable post-travel angina/flu is here. I’m wearing all I have. Indoors.
IMG_20180304_191124_194
March 4: Still ill and can’t even…

 

What I’ve Been Up To on Instagram

What I’ve Been Up To on Instagram

As per usual, I haven’t been up to anything, which I duly documented on Instagram. If you’re interested in how you can document nothing, scroll down to see the thing which is nothing.

IMG_20180219_175402_540
Feb 19: I had my haircut and the hairdresser wrapped me in a burka. 
IMG_20180220_130155_336
Feb 20: You know you’re old when you start drinking decaf. The abomination.
IMG_20180221_160527_421
Feb 21: It’s Wednesday! It’s bin takeout day! My life is filled with exciting events. Not.
IMG_20180222_201836_421
Feb 22: I’m pleased the cat likes her play box but I wish I didn’t have bits of cardboard strewn all over the place.
IMG_20180223_204025_202
Feb 23: The cat is the best anyway.
IMG_20180224_111805_288
Feb 24: A different slant of light created by a water of glass just sitting there on the table.
IMG_20180225_211518_416
Feb 25: My business trip begins. More on that later. When I recover from the trauma.
A Week on Instagram, Where Nothing Happened

A Week on Instagram, Where Nothing Happened

I’m worried about myself. I sort of pledged to myself that I wouldn’t be doing any 365 challenge crap ever again but that’s exactly what I appear to be doing. Fortunately, there were no witnesses to my pledge, and dead men tell no lies the cat doesn’t talk. So here’s another week’s worth of a photo a day on my Instagram.

IMG_20180212_122435_108
12 Feb: Based on this post, it looks like I’ve been somewhere. But where the fuck? That much to my idea of taking a photo a day lest I forget. Instead, notice the cute yellow circle in the picture, perhaps the remainder of a manhole.
IMG_20180213_183128_935
13 Feb: I took a picture of my key collection. I’m not sure what all these are good for, presumably nothing. In fact, I only need a total of three keys. It’s not like I’m a key master.
IMG_20180214_165706_852
14 Feb: Scratch that. I totally am a key master. The post of the janitor comes bundled with a manual on what to do in case of fire (I haven’t read it yet—neither do I intend to) and with an array of keys. Make your pick.
IMG_20180215_151000_370
15 Feb: My cat hates me. Should I still have any doubts about this, she gave me this cold stare when I was going aww at her. Zip it up, human.
IMG_20180216_170637_499
16 Feb: Normal people go to a pub on Fridays, mental people colour mandalas. I recommend you stick to the pub.
IMG_20180217_193352_500
17 Feb: The highlight of the day was the flawless perfection which I achieved when bagging my groceries. That’s Tetris OCD-style. I doubt that there are many people who reach this level of professionalism in tetris for grown-ups.
IMG_20180218_181037_788
18 Feb: My life couldn’t possibly get better. I got a super cute case for my beloved phone, on which said phone thought it a great idea to start dying on me. Note to self: be aware that no phone lasts more than two years because that’s how the fucking things work these days.

 

My Week in Instagram Pictures

My Week in Instagram Pictures

Last week has been uneventful, much as my entire life. Thanks the universe for that. I hate everything but eventfulness especially. I have captured each non-event of each uneventful day in one non-picture.

IMG_20180205_155254_835 1
5 Feb: My cactus colony is dying on me. It’s a minor miracle that I’m managing to keep the cat, a life form superior to plants, alive. 
IMG_20180206_110856_730
6 Feb: I went out. To get smokes. It was very exciting because there are new pictures on cigarette packets! This ad for clogged arteries is particularly attractive. The imagery is supposed to discourage me from smoking, but sadly, I enjoy the art, so not happening.
IMG_20180207_133626_047
7 Feb: When you think the bloody winter is about to be over and the snow thinks otherwise. 
IMG_20180208_174551_255
8 Feb: That’s my balcony chair. Clearly, I never clean it. I converted it into an art installation.
IMG_20180209_162726_916
9 Feb: The day when a radiator burst and flooded the building. This was taken when I was pressurising the boiler, unaware that it’s sending all the water down into the cellar, creating an impromptu swimming opportunity.
IMG_20180210_230714_364
10 Feb: Freezing as per usual. No amount of thermal wear helps. Please notice, however, that my fleece shirt is colour-coordinated with my knitted socks. And my nails are colour-coordinated with my outdoor thermal pants. Which I wear indoors. 
IMG_20180211_202445_397
11 Feb: I did my nails! What an event! And I did them wonderfully. I love the jaundiced yellow, the bloody red and the deathly black. 
The Joys of Being the Janitor

The Joys of Being the Janitor

I’ve complained earlier of having been unanimously by one out of one vote appointed the concierge. I’m still hating it, faithful to my principle of hating everything and everyone.

A more appropriate word for concierge is the janitor, which is an all-in-one function, rolling into a single person an administrator, an electrician, a plumber and a cleaner, among other things. No qualifications are required because other people don’t know what they’re doing either anyway.

On a Friday morning, I woke up to the sound of water gurgling more angrily than usual in the radiators. That means one thing. I gotta go down to the boiler room and pressurise the boiler. I duly did. The water stopped splashing and I was pleased with myself, thinking how nicely I fixed it.

An hour later I noticed the radiators stopped heating altogether. Also, there was no hot water. Oops. So back to the cellar I descend to examine. The meter shows the whopping pressure of zero. Hmm. I move a few handles tentatively, waiting for something to magically happen. After another hour I break and call the actual plumber.

He’s pretty displeased because it’s Friday and people don’t expect to work on a Friday, unless they’re freelancers, like me, who work 24/7 and rest only when they’re interned in the psych ward with acute overwork. The plumber came and scolded me for clearly not knowing how to pressurise the boiler properly. Dear plumber, I’m a fucking doctor of literature, of course I don’t know how to treat a boiler, but I did exactly what you showed me to do to it, okay?

IMG_20180101_192653-01
An irrelevant image enhancing the horror mood of the post

The plumber started repressurising. It was taking forever and the pressure refused to climb. I guess it was feeling lazy. See above for nobody works on a Friday. The plumber says, That’s weird, it’s like the water is disappearing. I scream internally. I don’t believe in magic disappearances. I say, What do you mean, disappearing, like leaking? The plumber confirms. I’m trying to wrap my mind around it as the plumber sends me out to check all the flats  in the building for radiator leaks.

I don’t get too far. There’s the sound of a waterfall in the cellar next to the boiler room. Properly freaked out, I throw the door open and step in a pool of water as I’m reaching for the light switch. There’s a hole in the ceiling and a thick stream is pouring down from it. I scream literally. The plumber rushes to see if I saw a ghost or what and whistles appreciatively, as he observes the make-shift waterfall. The building has just upgraded to a swimming pool.

What’s above here, the plumber gestures up, clearly delighted to have a little excitement to spice up his dull shift. That would be my flat, I say. Alright, let’s see your flat then, the plumber suggests. My flat is all clear, which is good news, the plumber offers, as he notices my white face. There’s no fucking good news when there’s a fucking hole in the fucking cellar ceiling!! It’s like comforting a dying guy with telling him that at least, when he’s dead, he won’t have to pay health insurance.

What’s next to you, the plumber inquires. An empty bar, I say. We pay a visit there and the plumber is insensitively cheerful to see it flooded. Here you go, he shouts enthusiastically, that’s your leak! I remain quiet and catatonic. The plumber sends me back to my flat to take a Lexaurin and sets off to fetch his mates, so they could have some fun too.

The leak turned out to have been caused by an exploded radiator, which some dumbass didn’t shut down properly and which burst with excitement when the outside temperature dropped too low. I was relieved that I didn’t break the boiler but spent the rest of the day trying to sweep the water from the flooded areas. It was like, uh, sweeping water. Being a janitor is a great job. Not.

More Instagram Crap

More Instagram Crap

I do crap. Because I can. I mean, because I can’t. Can’t do better, that is. Since you appear not to hate my Instagram-to-WordPress reposts enough, you have condemned yourselves to another week’s worth of instant snaps. One day, one snap. Each snap is crap with an even crappier story to go with it. Here’s proof.

029
29 Jan: I went on an adventure. To Tesco. I met this lost and lonely hairpin, symbolical of my dead and discarded dreams and hopes, and it was so moving. So moving that I snapped this and moved on. 
030
30 Jan: There was an actual sunset, which means that there was an actual sun out during the day. Whew. It gave me a fright. I already forgot what sun was and mistook it for fire.
031
31 Jan: You wouldn’t fucking believe it. I know I didn’t. A month later, I actually unpacked my new yoga mat and started using it. Once I hopped on it, I started to hate myself for having waited so long to break it in. It’s all kinds of awesome. 
032
1 Feb: Today, nothing happened. Except I ventured in front of the building to take the dust bin out for the dustmen. Dustpeople. Let’s be gender correct. Or dustentities. In case the council employs not-people too. 
033
Feb 2: I painted my nails. I thought the colours would stand out best in monochrome. Duh. They’re black anyway, with one nail tentatively yellow. I’m a wasp. 
034
3 Feb: The cat is shedding like her survival depended on it. I can’t even drink coffee these days without swallowing and then coughing up a furball. Cat hair everyfuckingwhere.
035
4 Feb: I got up. Got dressed. Painted my face. Did my hair. It was so awesome. I mean, it was a bloody bother, but I was surprised to find myself comparatively pretty after like a two-hour prettifying procedure. And I didn’t even go on a date.

 

I Have a New Psychiatrist (That’s My Life Now)

I Have a New Psychiatrist (That’s My Life Now)

My old psychiatrist retired (probably to devote himself full-time to his drinking hobby) and was replaced by a new psychiatrist. Unlike the old guy, the new lady is less than a hundred and doesn’t appear to have a drinking problem (good for her).

I bear no grudge against her (yet), but as per usual, I’ve been quite passive-aggressive at our first date. She surely hated me at first sight, which is only right and mutual because I hate people by default. This might explain my passive-aggressive tendencies.

My new psych person had the old psych person’s office completely cleared, so now she practises in a large and mostly empty room. I’m scared of open spaces, so here you go. Also, she brought in a new table and positioned it in the wrong place. I’m OCD, so here you go again.

I tried hard to conduct myself, so I didn’t point out that she ruined everything for me. (She even moved the nurse’s station to the wrong wall, and nothing will ever be the same.) We had the following largely disappointing conversation.

Psych: So, how have you been feeling?
Me: (What I thought: That’s a question beneath your profession. If I were feeling anything else than poorly, I wouldn’t be here, right? Elementary, doctor.) What I said: Poorly. (What I didn’t add: But I accept that it is what it is and I let it go, as my positive affirmations have me believe.)

Psych (staring at me): You look anxious.
Me (staring in a wall behind her): (What I thought: Right, that’s because I have anxiety, just check my bloody chart, duh.) What I said: Yes.

Psych: What about we try increasing the antidepressant dose?
Me: (What I thought: Whatever. It’s not like I’m a doctor. Oh, wait. I am a doctor. Whew.) What I said: Okay.

Psych: And what do you do?
Me: (What I thought: Ow fuck, now we’re going to chit-chat? As a doctor, you should know that it’s not what I do but how I deal with it. Also, don’t try to outsmart me. You’re no match for my intellectual arrogance.) What I said: Work from home.

Psych: You don’t talk much, right?
Me: (Nothing. Why state the obvious.)
Psych: OK, so see you in a month.
Me: (If I live to see the next month.) OK.

I guess I’m not a very amiable person. Actually, I’m sure of that because I spend a lot of time with myself and I hate every second. I’m such an annoying little smartass. Currently on more antidepressants than before, so we’ll see.

A Snap a Day Non-challenge

A Snap a Day Non-challenge

My reblogs of my own Instagram snaps seem to be among the posts which you hate the least, so I’m continuing with this non-challenge and presenting another week’s worth of crappy snappy shit (I know that this dubious phrase makes no sense, but that’s suitable for a non-challenge).

IMG_20180123_101610_835
Jan 22: Went to Tesco. Was colour-coordinated. That’s how exciting my life is.
IMG_20180123_101136_729
Jan 23: It’s fucking freezing and I don’t understand how the water hasn’t turned into ice. The world is not what it used to be. 
IMG_20180124_230926_567
Jan 24: My old yoga mat is disintegrating and disgusting. I bought a new one. I haven’t used it yet. I have this curious mental block which doesn’t prevent me from buying new things but does prevent me from using them. What the actual fuck. Sorry for the swearing but it’s spot on here.
IMG_20180125_193443_648
Jan 25: I’ve been waiting in vain for my ballots for presidential elections. Nothing arrived and then I was told that this time I’d be getting ballots on the spot. Which I did. I could’ve spared myself the trip, the wrong candidate won. 
IMG_20180126_154438_216
Jan 26: Proof that I bothered to go voting. Never again. See above. A nice walk though. 
IMG_20180127_220202_268
Jan 27: My anxiety levels are breaking records and I’m unsuccessfully trying to counter with meditation. Nice try.
IMG_20180128_144239_848
Jan 28: I had this obsessive thought that there was a gas or water leak, so I descended in the cellar of the building to examine. Thanks for the trip, anxiety. Nothing is leaking anywhere. So, good news, I guess. I need to go check again though.

 

My Perfectly Average Silhouette

My Perfectly Average Silhouette

WordPress’s Daily Post is being clairvoyant today. The prompt of the day is silhouette, which I noticed just after posting a snap of my own meagre silhouette on Instagram.

Relating to this photo and at other occasions, I’ve had curious discussions with people about my height. It’s no huge surprise that different parts of the world are populated with people of different heights, but I was a bit surprised that North Americans tend to regard me as tall. What the heck? It must be my slight built that’s misleading.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Beap69HhwAN/?taken-by=maraeastern

I checked some rough stats and confirmed that my height is perfectly average for my part of the world. And by perfectly, I mean perfectly, I’m right at the average (okay, so almost right there, I’m 0.78 mm/0.03 in off). You can check out the stats on Wikipedia, if you’re interested, but what I’m trying to point out is that an average US woman is 161.8 cm (5 ft 3 1⁄2 in), while an average Czech female, me, is 167.22 cm (5 ft 6 in).

I’m right where I’m supposed to be, height-wise, and I’m not only not tall, but even sufficiently short to be perceived by the average Czech male (180.31 cm / 5 ft 11 in) as tiny.  That much to statistics.