In May of 2016, I wrote a 6 word story in the spirit of Hemmingway that I published on my Facebook page. The entirety of the story was this.
“Full fridge, nothing to hang there.”
I had returned to my apartment one evening to find a pink sheet of paper taped on my door. I immediately assumed I was being evicted, but upon reading the sheet of paper, I discovered it was just a notification that my filters would be cleaned the next day. This was much less terrifying than the previous assumption, so I walked inside and went to hang the notice on the fridge. Perhaps I was feeling especially lonely that night, because I suddenly realized that I had nothing else hanging on my fridge.
Most families have plenty of hand drawn art, or photos, or calendars hanging from their fridge. It is a bulletin board of sorts, filled with information about what everyone is doing, or accomplishments that the family is proud of. Inside most fridges, are plenty of various foods that are for the family to eat and enjoy. The family finds nourishment for the body and the soul at the refrigerator. I had plenty of food, but I suddenly discovered that I had no one to share it with. I had no one to share my life with.
I had filled my apartment with things. I had a TV and a chair. I had several musical instruments and plenty of books. I could keep myself busy for hours while I waited for work to start the next day. I had a shower, and a washer and a dryer. I even had a microwave and a George Foreman grill. I guess you could say that all my physical needs were taken care of or provided for.
I didn’t feel like I was well taken care of. I felt like I was on the edge of giving up. When a weekend would come, I would have grand plans of working on some personal project or getting out there and exploring the world around me. Usually, I ended up staying in bed until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, going to get something to eat, and then returning to bed to read or just mope. I wasn’t exploring the world around me, and I wasn’t getting pursuing any of my personal passions by completing projects I had started. I was wasting away, in the lap of luxury, I was starving for peace.
Like I said, I was probably feeling especially lonely that day, but I feel like right now there are many people in the same place I was in on that day. They do not lack physical provision, but their souls are starving. There are many things that can take peace from us, having a physical or emotional need that is unfulfilled is one of them. Not having anyone to share my life with really made that apartment a place I lived in, instead of a home. While I was warm and well fed, I was not at peace.
At some point I began to finally take some steps to change my situation. I got rid of my bed. It was old and worn out anyways, but even then it was too comfortable, it was too easy to waste my life lying in it, and I decided it had to go. So I threw it away, and I didn’t replace it. I began to spend my nights on an air mattress I bought, and a foam pad my dad had gotten from somewhere, that I had claimed. I was so sick of where I was that I started changing small things in an effort to find some sort of internal peace.
Getting rid of the bed was a start, but it wasn’t enough.
To be continued…