Saturday 15 June 2019

'The categorisation of emotions in the time of a housing crisis' by Anita Goveas

Curiosity: the feeling of coming home from a long day at the bank, after a longer journey on the Overground, to find that the cactus you stopped watering 7 months ago has magnificently flowered.

Confusion: the feeling of coming home from a long day at work to find a skunk in your flatmate’s bed, eating your cactus.

Guilt: the feeling of realising that the reason a skunk is pissing in your flatmate’s bed and making a nest of their pillow is because you were running late and under-caffeinated this morning and left the back door open.

Resignation: the feeling of remembering when you see the claw marks on the headboard, floorboards, cupboards and the boot prints left by the keepers at London Zoo who reclaim the slightly-less-than-compliant omnivore, that you and your flatmate have now lost your security deposit and still can’t afford to move out.

Relief: the feeling of knowing that your flatmate and you can now stop ignoring the fact they’d slept with your ex-partner, who gave you the cactus, and ignore the skunk incident instead.

Resolve: the feeling when you finish scrubbing scat out of beige carpet, burning spray-soaked bedding, and spreading knuckle-deep scratches with Polyfilla, and decide cupboards don’t need doors, some things are better opened-up.
The cactus was called Heart’s Desires. You don’t replace it.


First published in the Flash Fiction Festival Anthology 2 in December 2018.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this the first time I read it in the anthology - great to read it again.


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