Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Invader

I dreamed an old woman said she had been assigned to live in my apartment. It was a social services department and if I didn’t like it, and I didn’t, I could argue with them. She said it wasn’t very clean here (well, it isn’t) and she put things away where I couldn’t find them. I screamed at her and she screamed right back, and neither of us could sleep. She tried to open a coffee bar in one of the rooms (how did I get more rooms here?) and when the department social workers came to check up on her, they ignored my protests about the whole situation and reproached me for my “attitude.” My aunt tried to help out, but experience as she is with bureaucracies, she didn’t get anywhere.

One time I took some of the old woman’s milk for my coffee. It was easier than going out and buying more, and besides, who knew what she’d do while I was out? She might change the locks. I was sure she was just waiting to change the locks. The second time I borrowed milk, she noticed. She didn’t say anything, but she began to use my sugar. I was furious but I couldn’t very well object.

She got the papers of my writings all mixed up. She threw out trash that wasn’t ready to be thrown out yet. She objected to my leaving the windows open. Her friends came to visit and I couldn’t walk around naked any more.

One day I came home and she had died. I was delighted, but the department soon sent an old man to replace her. He accused me of having sex with strange men in my room. (Well, I was.) He also said I was a communist. I told him he was a fascist.

He screamed louder and more insistently than the old woman had, and he was much filthier. He used my toothbrush. I threw his pills in the toilet, hoping he’d have a coronary. He stank. I refused to wear clothes on hot days. He said he couldn’t have friends over. I said, “Good.” He was late with the rent check and the landlord threatened to throw me out. There was nothing I could do. He was here to stay.

He was Old Age.