I wake up. Or at least my eyes flick open and my gangly morning legs drag me to the ensuite. I’m writing this standing up to my largest mirror. Between sentences I look up, gazing deep into my shapeless anime eyes. The figure reflected onto the glass yawns, then blinks rapidly at my oversized aqua pupils. I remember being told in school these resembled an ocean. I think that meant they were soulful. So soulful you could drown in them. But I’ve never had to gasp for air. In fact, right now, their abrasive surface reminds me more of a glacier. Nevertheless, they’ll do. They’re the first sign of life for days in my empty new mansion.
This is written much later. I got distracted by the doorbell, even though it only rang once. I’ve always thought if anyone needs you, they ring at least three times. Or rather, in ringing three times they convince themselves that they actually really do. Either way is fine with me. But I do like to be needed. Anyway, my mind wandered, and I forgot the diary. I had my shower instead; set it to the lowest temperature and shivered under it as long as I could. Apparently, it improves self-confidence. I doubt it does really but sometimes you’ve got to live the lie and all that. Currently I’m lying across the entrance that separates my bathroom and bedroom. The skylight is wide open, and the sun beats down on me. I tug at my damp thick hair with a comb. It sticks like woven ivy. I sigh and look up, into the skylight, giving my convincing smile. It convinces me anyway, just about. I need to leave the house.
My walls are on fire. They have been since I applied orange paint this morning. I trace my fingers along the edges of the blaze, losing myself in it completely. Maybe that means I write this in a burning room. Or maybe I just write this out of my mind. My phone starts ringing. For once, I pick up. “Hillwood residence … No that’s me … Oh no, the secretary is out … Been ringing all day? Surely not … Well, I’ll tell him … Yes of course I’m up for Toronto … Oh come on, I’m always 100% for stuff like that … Yes! Stuff! … Sane people have short memories, it won’t matter … Yes, it is! When isn’t sanity relevant? … Ok … Ha ok … Definitely … Yeah whatever … See you in five days”. I think. Do I have a secretary? I have a personal shopper, and that’s basically the same thing. Not technically the same though. I’ll need a real one for Toronto. That’ll be the rest of my day planned out, thank God.
I dedicate this entire entry to small victories, especially those achieved in the stifling heat.
Illustration: Adeline Zhao