Saturday, February 11, 2012


untitled by "Just an Anonymous Writer"


You carefully set the rusted music box on top of the piano, there’s room for it there, next to the stack of yellowing books—so many books—if only you had time to re-read them all! You tell yourself you will. You are fond of books, which is why you can’t give them away in the first place.

The phone rings. It’s your son. He informs you that he’ll be stopping by later to bring you dinner. “No, Tommy, no,” you hear the words cascading out, “I’d rather you didn’t come by this evening.”

He pushes. You argue. He relents. You hang up—relieved.

You move some boxes aside, “goat trails,” your son calls them, when he’s being nice. “A damn death trap 911 extravaganza,” when he isn’t.

You try to walk into the kitchen to get a snack. You step on something mushy, unidentifiable. You smell it on your sock. Tommy would utter some choice phrases about that, wouldn’t he.

There’s nothing in the fridge. Well, there’s a lot actually, the fridge is full, but everything’s expired. And gray. Like you.

You find a pack of cigarettes. You need one to soothe your nerves. Why can’t Tommy leave you alone? You like to live this way. So what—so he’s a clean freak and has to sanitize everything? You didn’t raise him to be that way (obviously). He’s too judgmental, you think, it’s better if he stays away. He can live in his pristine condo with his Clorox and his Windex, his white towels and his blank rooms of nothingness.

You maneuver up the stairs and make your way to the bedroom. You have to step over more stacks of things. You trip. You take a pile of wrinkled clothes off the bed and crawl in.

His voice echoes in your brain: “I adore you, Dad, why are you doing this to yourself? Your things mean more to you than your own children.”

You are happier alone, you tell yourself, you are.


  1. love the twist at the end. Hoarders are more often women than men. This was great!!!!

  2. I feel for this character. I also thought it was a woman until I read "Dad". The last sentence really makes me wonder.

  3. I also thought this was a woman. So well done.

  4. Well done - as I am not a clean freak myself, yet not a hoarder to such extremes, I feel this. :)

  5. I do fear becoming this. We fight against being hoarders ourselves. Though nothing squishes underfoot that is not cleaned up straightaway. We still have limits, which is our hope.

  6. sigh. are you my anonymous mother writing something for me to read?!

    So. Well. Painted.

    So. Real.


  7. Thanks so much for linking up this weekend. Remember, this weekend’s entries are being judged by the Trifecta community so make sure you visit the site to register your vote! Hope you can join us for Monday’s prompt!