I want to talk about guilt.
They said I could talk about whatever I wanted and I chose guilt.
Not yours or mine, that’d be boring.
I want to talk about your neighbor, Daisy.
Chill, chill. I’m not one of her observers or Screws or whatever. I’m actually so far removed from this that it might be cool to hear what I’ve got to say.
Right, yeah. You have no idea who I am. Cool. It’s best if we keep it that way.
I’m not Trader or Jones or even the buffoon that talked to you the other week.
My name doesn’t matter, though. We’re talking about Daisy.
So here’s what I know about Daisy.
She is a 26 year old Asian woman of unclear ascent. I say unclear because I have no idea, because I don’t care enough to know or to tell the difference between features. I guess that might piss someone off. Not you, though.
You look like someone who doesn’t give a crap about anything at all.
Or maybe you do.
It’s hard to tell with you guys.
Daisy Kim, apartment 208, doesn’t have any pets. Communication with her folks is non existent. She has had two boyfriends in her entire life and they both have broken her heart.
I mean, yeah she had “girlfriends” in the past but we both know it was just a phase.
I mean-I- God I don’t really know what I mean, okay?
It’s just. A jumble. A mess.
A wrinkle I guess?
I’m just tired.
But I promised I’d talk about your friend. They said you’d want to know about your friend and I know that maybe, I too, would like to know about my friends, if I had friends, right? You know? So I said, I said “okay, I’ll talk about his friend. I’ll tell him she’s okay. She’s like super fine but super sad and that’s fine, you know? We’re all sad. That’s kind of the point, right?” So here I am. I’m talking about your friend who is fine, but also sad, but also fine.
She is currently sitting by the window of her apartment. I can see her very clearly from my window. She has your cat on her lap, even though I’ve seen her hunt down every single stray piece of hair he leaves behind after she is done with him. I guess she must really like him. And you, by extension.
She just looked up and noticed me watching. She didn’t frown or blush or anything like the others do. She actually just waved at me. I waved back and then pointed to my laptop with a shrug.
She smiled -I think. Expressions are hard to distinguish from this far away- and then carried on petting your cat and looking out the window.
You have your curtains drawn. It might be because you’re still at that stage where you think closing your curtains will make any difference.
If they want to see you they will. There is nothing you can do to stop them.
We’ve all tried.
But sometimes it’s best to stop trying to give up. There’s no shame or guilt in that, right?
Not yours or mine but hers.
I don’t think a day goes by where she doesn’t feel guilty about something.
I can see it.
She’s the kind of person that never draws her curtains. I don’t know why. Everyone else does it on this side of your building. They’ve got nothing to hide, right? Nothing they’d ever need to hide from an almost abandoned building overlooking them.
I saw her when she as with him. The boyfriend that went away. That had to go away.
He knew too much but this is not about his guilt or regret this is about her and how she feels.
She loves you, the way people oftentimes forget they love their brothers. It’s a sickening and naïve thing.
She feels guilty about visiting you, about right now not telling you that she had work, so much work piled up from the time you went away and she took over your life for you. She feels bad because she might not be able to do all the things you need her to do. She might neglect you a bit in order to work and have food and live and survive.
That’s another thing she feels guilty for: Survival.
I guess in a way we’re all guilty of it. Of making it through less than slim odds.
I never really cared though.
Survival is about doing whatever it takes to make it out of whatever impossible situation you’re in.
We’ve all done terrible, horrible things in order to survive. Not because we think we deserve to live more than others, or that our lives are somehow worth more than other people’s suffering. It’s just because we are all scared, terrified even, of what could happen to our bodies if we don’t comply. If we’re not part of a machine that is constantly demanding and cajoling and convincing you to just give it all up. It could all be better if you just give it all up.
Of course, that is a lie. There’s just no way that anything could ever be better ever again. Once you make the trade, once you give it all up you will never be able to live again, to move on.
Survival is what happens after you stop living.
Oh, she’s standing up.
She turned around to talk to someone, don’t worry it’s not you. Her body language speaks of pleasantness and surprise. She’s not mad that this person has showed up, opened the door to her home just like that, but she is surprised.
She’s turning to look at me. She points to your cat with a smile and then closes the curtains. I frown, because she never draws her curtains.
I guess this is about something she doesn’t want me to see. Someone.
You will hear about his, I guess. All in due time.
The curtains of your apartment flutter for a second, I almost think I imagined it but- oh! There you are staring suspiciously at me.
I smile and wave, but you duck back into your apartment.
I don’t blame you.
Anyway. This was all for today.
I expect someone different will be here to walk you through a new Sunday later on.
At least if the insistent ringing of my phone is anything to go by.
You’d think that after so many years, they’d finally learn to leave me alone. But that’s another thing about the machine: it’s insistent and constant. It will never give up.