There is not a single pair of eyes in her apartment, save her own, and she is having second thoughts about the mirrors. There were eyes once – but she felt watched. Over months, years, she plucked every pair from every face.
She started with the toys. She pinched their button eyes, slipped the blade of a Stanley knife under her fingertips and severed cotton tendon after cotton tendon. In this fit of exorcism she contemplated swallowing them, but the thought that they might lodge themselves in her stomach stopped her.
She filled a bag with the eyes and a couch with the blind. The toys were harmless now, but no one could have proved that to her. In the end she removed both the eyes and the toys from the apartment in two sealed bags on two separate garbage days, thereby reducing the likelihood of their reuniting.
Next she outsourced her home appliances. She disdained their familiarities. Now when they blink good morning, blink ready, blink done, blink goodbye, blink hello, blink enjoy, blink pleas for help, she understands none of it. She does not read Chinese, and that works for her.
She invested in death. Purpose-built plastic predators and pills unfurled room temperature silence, extinguishing mice and cockroaches in the no man’s lands of her ceiling cavity and unused cupboard spaces. She climbed through the roof hatch, taking a harvester’s pleasure in picking their cold bodies from their soft insulation batt deathbeds.
She kept a geranium near her bed until one morning the flowers did not open. She mixed boiling water with four heaped tablespoons of salt, poured it into the pot and put the plant in the garbage chute. It was blind, sightless, and yet its life, its sensitivity to light, water and care, was enough to unnerve her.
She had desired to live in a place populated only by the lines and virtues of functionality and sustenance, and in its perfection, she observed its edges – in the act of observation, she noticed herself.