Misery Loves Company

Sophie Jensen

Centuries. That’s how long the house has stood, as far as it knows. Ages and eons of this unbearably gradual metamorphosis, this slow sinking descent into the cold earth below. Decades of delicate ivy hands carefully crawling up its walls, caressing its stones, gentle as a lover’s touch. The trees above whisper soft and soothing coos, pacifying the structure as it ever so slowly decays. Deliberately, methodically, it is broken down and absorbed into the soil like so much waste.
It does feel pain. Of course it does. The house feels every inch of its foundation as it cracks, every panel of its flooring as it is invaded by dampness. It aches as the bloated carcasses of its floorboards warp and mold.

It was a beautiful structure, once, and in truth, it is lovely still; but decades of a solitary and agonized existence have rendered it a hollow shell of bitter resentment.
Anger radiates from the walls in waves of acrid smoke. Envy and repulsion mingle with spores, giving way to tumorous blistering growths of fungus in the dark corners of this damned house.

A shelter, a grand dilapidated mansion, a refuge from the elements. A place to build a family, a home. Illusion fosters deception. A parasite in hosts’ clothing, the house plays its role with aplomb.

Nothing deserves misery. But misery deserves company.

Can a flytrap be faulted for its sharp teeth? Can fool’s gold be blamed for its color? If one consumes from need- can one be deemed wrong?
The house needs. Desperately, anxiously, furiously, it needs. It craves outrage, it craves frenzy. It craves a root for its evil, from which its own self can grow.

I do not fault the flytrap. I do not blame the fool’s gold. I do not hate the house.

I pity the house, as it pities me. Together, we are a spiral, an ouroboros forever eating its tail as we slide deeper into the depths below. A never ending cycle of mutual parasitism. I pity it, for it never had a chance; it pities me, for I once did. I envy it, as it will outlive me; it envies me, for death is an escape.

And so we will go on, as we always have, with each passing moment becoming less of ourselves and more of each other, until my feet are floorboards and its windows are lips and my bones are beams and its tiles are scalp and my skin is paint and its bricks are teeth and my spine is stairs and its doors are hands and -