The Day (week 3, day 2)
Keys, shoes, pointless umbrella – I had everything I needed and still stood staring at the door. I knew it wasn’t going to open itself. I knew it was up to me to cross the threshold to start my day.
And I didn’t do it.
I put the umbrella back in the closet. I put my keys back on the hook next to the door. I took off my shoes and put them back onto the mat. I did get as far as touching the door but not until I’d already undone my preparations, waiting to make even that minimal contact with the potential of the outside world until I’d made it clear to myself that there wasn’t a chance of meeting it that day.
From the safety of the big chair furthest from the door, I considered my options. I had built quite a comfortable life for myself within the walls of my apartment. I didn’t, technically, need to leave it for anything. The internet brought all the world I could stand and then some to my fingertips. I was, through my computer, able to meet all of my basic needs from the comfort of my big chair. Groceries found their way to my doorstep and friends appeared on screen at regular intervals.
Outside wasn’t a necessary part of my existence. Or, at least, I’d convinced myself of such. Even so, at least once a week I went through the process of attempting to go out into it. That day wasn’t new – I had gotten dressed and shoed and wrapped my keys in one hand and my umbrella in the other on fifty one other days. And, on each of those days I found myself back on my chair, staring at the door from the furthest distance possible in my apartment.
That day was my fifty second attempt. My fifty second failure.
Have you ever failed at something that consistently? I think it does something to you, failing that many times. I’m not honestly sure I had any hope around my failed attempts. Had I honestly thought that I would open the door that morning? Had I used the same old self talk script to hype myself up enough that I got dressed and put on my shoes? Looking back it’s hard to imagine that I had any belief left.
My chair supported me and held me, and that had been all I needed for a long time. All I had, anyway. My apartment was a fully furnished single room with an overstuffed chair, a bed that disappeared into the wall, a table that adjusted in height so it worked for all uses, a few pictures on each wall, and three bookshelves. The only wall without a bookshelf was the one taken up by what passed for a kitchen. It didn’t have full appliances – there wouldn’t have been room to live if it had. The range (no oven), microwave (half-sized), fridge (quarter-sized), and sink (single basin) got the job done.