Monthly Archives: May 2008

Paper or Plastic

Not long after I moved into my apartment I noticed a gap in the ceiling between the front of my apartment (kitchen/living room/office/dining room/den/etc) and the back of my apartment (bedroom). You see, my “bedroom” is actually an old enclosed porch. It is an extension of the house and with age it has decided it may not want to be apart of said house any longer. Like all major schisms, there are side effects – a noticeable gap in the ceiling, a slight downward slope, and a constant fear of waking up in the alley.

Whenever I’m laying down on my bed I stare at the gap and imagine the possibilities of what could happen. Flying wood, very large splinters, broken glass…some are more rational then others. I have nightmares of spiders, millions of them, pouring out from the gap and crawling into my ears and mouth while I sleep. Or better yet, they have trapped me in a web from which i can’t escape and they’ll do the crawling while I’m awake.

alright….I’m done…promise. This all may seem slightly interesting and completely unrelated. until…

I see a cockroach.

We stumble upon each other as I get up for more water and he strolls out of my shoe. We both freeze. Like a duel at high noon we wait for the other to make the first move. It’s me. I panic and make a flying leap for the nearest, highest object as he jumps back into my shoe (good luck buddy).

As I stand perched on my stool, I become eye level with my shelves. And instead of my books and trinkets galore (cue little mermaid music), I see brown paper and I begin to put a few things together.

I have been removed.

On top of that – I feel like I’m in some sort of twisted take on Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

Gregor awoke a cockroach – the ultimate identity crisis. Everything familiar to him is gone – his physical appearance, his relationship with his family, his daily routine – his entire life. Gone. But he is still there, locked away in that smooth exoskeleton.

Helene has done the same – instead of covering me, she has covered my belongings – my life. Even my reflection has been reduced to a 4 x 4 inch square.

At first it was a peaceful escape. An escape not only from the outside, but also from myself. Anything “mine” has been covered and neatly put away. Drawing a connection to spirituality and inner reflection, my identity has been sacrificed in order to get closer to something higher (whatever that “higher” may be). It’s about being selfless and letting go of the needless things I have allowed define me: clothes, jewelry, my car, my books, etc.

But sometimes they do define us. I know many a good book has changed me (thank you Harry Potter). We need them – at least I do – as reminders of decisions made, of life. Instead of being mere objects of representation, they become scraps of life we collect along the way and for the benefit of no one but ourselves. The brown paper, the plastic, the candles – it’s all a bland superficial mask of my “superficial” objects.

The past few days have felt odd. Peaceful, but odd. Even with all of this “covering up”, I have never felt more exposed. I’m not sure if it’s the installation, the fact that I can see and hear my neighbor like we are living in the same apartment now that my curtains are gone, or maybe it’s just the taxing routine of my life lately…

He peeks out at me again. And i remind myself to get traps in the morning.

Helene Raynaud 5/9 – 5/11

more photos >>

chillable red…

So Diane didn’t show up for her own birthday party. Apparently she was locked out and decided she would blame it all on Tom instead of just coming home and ringing the bell since she knew I was here. She burst in hours later as I was cleaning up the cake, glasses of wine, and putting the few things back I was able to use from my boxes. She was ranting and raving about how she just needed closure from Tom and demanded he box her stuff up so she could move on. She kept repeating, “that’s what I do, I box things up and go on with my life” as she frantically paced through the apartment and I finished taping up one of the boxes she so neatly packed for me…hmmm.

She’s nuts.

Regardless, it was a great party and I’m sad she missed it. Everyone asked for her, but it was empty concern, I could tell. It was her party therefore they had to ask. Maybe it’s how fast she goes through people that no one really gets too close to her. She has created a force field of emotion and intimacy, never letting anyone of quality get too close to her because then she’ll really care and then she’ll really get hurt.

She claims to have too much drama in her life, but it’s so obvious to me…she’s the one writing the script.


moving on…?




I left my purse, money and keys at my apartment today.  I couldn’t get my cappuccino before work..I was so pissed and had a terrible day at work because of it.  Also, Tom still has my only spare keys to the apartment so I had to call him and feel stupid asking for my keys back.  Really, he should have given me the keys back right after we had broken up…..right?  He should have boxed up my things, like the silver necklace which I am sure is still sitting on his dresser, as well as my apartment keys, and given it all back to me.  That’s what I do…I need to move on, so I box those things up and go on with my life.  

On a much better note, today I was I was reminded of my good friend Amy.  Amy was my best friend all through college and I was the maid of honor in her wedding last August.  Amy just sent me a Birthday card from her and Joe.  It was really sweet and it got me super excited for my birthday party on Thursday!  I can’t wait to have everyone over and celebrate!  We are going to have a great time!!  See you all tomorrow!