Thank you for your company last night. I’m glad you all made it here safely, and that we had this opportunity to catch up. Upon reflection, however, I’ve decided I would prefer not to spend any more time in your company. I have printed details of the closest hotel if you want to continue the weekend as planned. It is a Holiday Inn.
I am going to take a bath and I would prefer not to be disturbed.
Please tidy up the guest rooms before you leave. I would appreciate it if any leftover wine glasses could be returned to the kitchen. Don’t worry about making your beds: I will be laundering all of the bedclothes tomorrow. Please don’t try to wash them yourselves.
I bought supplies for breakfast, please use them. You have: fresh bread; English muffins (store bought); jam and marmalade; oranges; bananas; some cereal (none is gluten-free); cow’s milk; tea and coffee (various); eggs; bacon; sausages. You can take any of the meat you don’t finish. The Holiday Inn has mini-fridges.
The coffee machine makes some weird noises, but it’s fine. The toaster is already on its best setting. The juicer can be temperamental. Don’t think of what you are doing as ‘juicing’. You’ll all be much more effective if you just hold each orange firmly in your hand and imagine you are drawing out its blood.
Feel free to play any of my LPs while you eat. They sound great on the record player. Pick the ones you liked in college and play them as loud as you like. Play them louder than you like. The speakers can shake the whole house if you play something with enough bass and I won’t be able to hear you talk, and talk, and scrape plates, and laugh, and talk, and I can pretend I’ve just left the radio on again.
Don’t feed my cat. Don’t touch my fucking cat. Don’t take any more photos of my fucking cat.
Wash up after yourselves. Turn it into a joke, with one of you wearing my rubber gloves, and one of you drying, and one of you putting things away. You can act like you’re the Seven Fucking Dwarves, or birds doing chores, or whatever puts you at the most ironic distance from doing something useful. Scratch that – whoever wears my gloves, pretend to be me. Do my voice. Make it high and shrill and imagine you’re looking me right in the eye when you do it. Imagine me shaking.
Get out of here. Just get out of here, please. We are not wiser. We are not changed people. You are not changed people.
Rebecca Thursten (@tacceber) was an editor in London but is now a graduate student in Toronto, because life is like that sometimes.