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Stranger In The House

I have no idea how she managed to get in. All of a sudden she is present and there isn t a thing I can do to discourage her from residing with me.

It s a mystery. Suddenly one morning there she was, looking at me from my bathroom mirror. Seeing her gave me quite a shock. She looked disturbingly like my late mother in the last quarter of her life, grey hair, wrinkles and all. She stared at me as if saying, Gotcha!

Not only has she taken over my image in the mirror, but she seems to delight in playing pranks on me, like constantly getting hold of my glasses and hiding them in weird places. I m short sighted, so I take the specs off while doing things like reading. I swear I put them down right next to me on the table but are they there when I need them? Not very often. Most of the time, my uninvited guest manages to sneak in and snatch them while my attention is diverted. And then the search is on, room by room, without success. It s like the glasses evaporated into thin air. I usually give up and do something else, but then the stranger looks for another object to hide, and while I m searching high and low for that one presto there are the glasses. I really have to devise some way of keeping them safe. Hang them around my neck, perhaps? But what about the myriad of different objects she hides from me? Keys, the cordless phone, my meds, the paper, a book I was reading. I can hardly walk around carrying my whole household dangling from my neck. I m thinking of getting a cart to hold all the necessities and push it ahead of me wherever I go.

The intruder really has it in for me. She has taken to tripping me whenever I walk around. Surely there aren t that many things scattered around my home that could cause me to stumble. A scatter rug by the front door has never bothered me before. Now it seems like it s hard to step over it without getting tangled up. My furniture and appliances are suddenly jumping up and whacking me, creating bruises on my shins.

I suspect that my visitor has taken hold of my mind as well. I walk to the kitchen, intent on some task, and when I get there I have no idea what I planned to do. I can no longer go shopping without a detailed list, or I ll come home empty handed. Writing is less of the pleasurable activity it used to be and I don t retain as much as I used to when I read. Sometimes I have to read a paragraph over because I have no idea what I just read.

I resent that nasty character who has taken over my days. In fact, I think she has taken over my nights as well, because I don t seem to sleep much anymore. I ve tried to ignore her, but to no avail. Here she is, and here she is to stay.

Joyce Slobogian writes from Brandon, Manitoba and is the author of To Die For, available at Pennywise Books in Brandon, and online at

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