This piece is featured in Issue No. 2 Fake News

flash fiction

Solitary Refinement

I actually quite enjoy my solitude. I am not completely alone of course; my roommate sleeps quietly in the master bedroom. In truth it is the only bedroom of this condo. The condo is small, and very narrow, and very clearly intended to home two people who are in a couple that might share the singular bedroom. My room is technically a den.

However my mother and I spent thirteen hours arduously defending the integrity of our filial relationship in erecting the most spectacular Brimnes Ikea bed. The bed overwhelms the den but I hadn’t had a new bed since I was twelve, twelve years prior. There are no windows in the room. The ceiling is exposed concrete which women like my mother think appears dirty and unkempt and women my age are supposed to think is minimalist and chic.

One dirty mirror hangs on the back of the door to the shared bathroom. Due to this fortunate technicality however, my den is now an ensuite. I’m thankful for the splotchy mirror; it’s the closest thing to a window. The walls are entirely white, but the exposed concrete ceiling serves a slick grey accent wall. If the mirror can be a window, the ceiling can be a wall.

But I’m actually quite enjoying my solitude. The unexpected quiet of a rental in the city gives me space to think. When the lights are off, the absolute darkness of the windowless room is only unsettling until it’s not. I have my books, and journals, and guitar that goes guiltily unplayed, behind which hides the even more timid keyboard, presently serving as a shelf for not unclean clothes.

There’s plenty of room for one’s thoughts to divide and multiply within the cell. An ideal repose really. A philosopher’s cave for the modern woman living in downtown Toronto for under $1000 a month. These days a moment alone is more valua-- Oh Thank God, a spider.