Rooted, I used to think.

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A Weekend in Trinity - Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021
Newfoundland Part I - Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021
Underwater - Friday, Aug. 27, 2021
Married Not to Me - Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021
Cox Bay - Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021

Friday, Aug. 13, 2021 @ 3:47 pm
House Guests

A scruffy puppy straining on it’s leash, excited to explore the world.

The sun rising through a haze of smoke illuminating the landscape in a wash of orange.

Two days remain in the two-week visit from Russell’s brother and his wife. They’ve been staying with us, sleeping in the guest room (my work-from-home space). We sent them off earlier this week, gave them the car so they could travel up the coast for a couple of nights. So there was that moment of relief, but otherwise I’m starting to crumble.

I notice these ugly things emerging from within me.

He smokes, and the odor lingers around him in a heady cloud. The smoke follows him up the elevator into the apartment, and I feel trapped, unable to breathe in my own home. I resent that he’s laying on my sheets, under my duvet, soaking my room with smoke.

He makes a racist comment, and I stare at him flatly with disapproval. He laughs uncomfortably and says he was kidding.

He takes a beer from the fridge, jokes about taking the last one. I know that it was one that I’d bought, one that I carried home from the store (he already finished his daily six pack). I know that there is now no beer left in the fridge until someone hauls more home.

He goes out at night and smokes in the park, when there is an explicit smoking and fire ban, as the lawns are tinder dry.

He spends money that he doesn’t have on stuff that he doesn’t need. He shows up after a day trip with a novelty mug, a couple of folding chairs, a card game, a new t-shirt, and many other trinkets that are going to be cast aside in a day or two. I add up all of the stuff, and it’s a couple hundred dollars of junk.

“He’s just like that. Now you can see why they never have any money. He’s impulsive.”

We all go to the beach, and Russell and I pull out our books to read. He can’t settle down, doesn’t have any book, and talks endlessly. He turns on the speaker that he brought, puts on loud country music. The music drowns out the sound of the waves. Don’t you want to hear the waves?

I find myself getting up and walking away from him often. He’ll light a cigarette at the picnic table, while we are all still eating. He’ll crank the music so loud that I can’t think.

I just need to get away. I can’t stand it.

I want them to leave. I want my home back.

I go out and swim alone. I float on my back, and I rise and fall with the swell. The moon is a crescent in the sky. The sun dips below the island on the horizon, and the clouds light up with streaks of magenta and tangerine. A seal rises and blows beside me. The bats fly out from their day roost. At least I still have this.

I have failed to set boundaries; I have betrayed myself.

Roots | Shoots