A Dirt Floor

Her house had been left to fall into disrepair. Social anxiety had very nearly disabled her. It was all she could do to even answer the phone or the front doorbell for fear she would have to engage with a human — someone she already knew.
She said it was easier to speak to strangers.
Going out in public was like going to war unless she was behind her camera talking to it, her audience, like she had an imaginary friend in tow.
It’s hard to hide ourselves from people who have gotten to know us some. Unless there is the distance of that camera, it’s not as easy to pretend.
It made her cry to watch Grey Gardens in fear of ending up the same as Big and Little Edie Beale — though she watched it from time to time to remind herself of what she didn’t want to become — or to consider how far she had gone.
There was something very strong about her countenance — even in her frazzled and frayed behavior, her eyes remained fully engaged.
Democracy was becoming an enemy — but an individual’s well-accrued wisdom didn’t interest her either. She was hiding from critique. What good was a consensus — she knew very well about herself. Everyone had an opinion and mostly they agreed that it would be good for her if she “Did this” or ” Did that,” — as if they knew how she was feeling in the core of who she was. After all, she was sharing loudly everything about herself. Fatigued by their votes — because, after all is said and done, only she knows how her shoes feel — she cut off comments. Everyone could watch her, but no one could reach her.
It isn’t clear if the disrepair was due to lack of funds or the emotional stamina she might need to hire a repairman. Either way, as she said, “It’s like trying to clean trash,” and that was her excuse for letting the inside go as well. She just shifted things from one side of the house to the other trying to improve the function some — but nothing ever left and she cleaned very little. She made it a point to not let anything new in. That gave her a sense that she had a measure of control over how bad her disability could become.
Humans seem to have a need to fill empty spaces.
What empty space was she really trying to fill — a hole in her soul, unsuccessful connections in her brain that had left gaps between synapses? She didn’t know. She pondered with her muted audience.
She was making lots of plans for the future — lots of projects that were exciting to think about were racing through the empty spaces in her mind. She had an income to accrue toward retirement. Even though getting dirt off of a dirt floor is impossible, sweeping it isn’t. She would keep on keeping on and as much distress as it might all seem to be, there was still something about momentum that spoke to her of hope.

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