I’m typing on a familiar computer, in a familiar corner of the big room upstairs, but the table is unfamiliar and therefore the act of typing is different.
While the corner of the room is familiar – it’s where my desk has been for the past four years and three months – the room itself is different.
Downstairs, in the kitchen, I open the drawer for a glass and it’s different. Not a different drawer or a different glass, but the drawer is emptier and therefore the experience of choosing a glass is different.
I step into my bedroom and the familiar bed and bedside table are there, but the rest is different. Chester is no longer where it’s been for the past four years and three months; the bookshelf full of mementos from former students and books with hard covers is gone; even Tim’s sock drawer cupboard is no longer there. Tim’s side of the wardrobe is now full of my clothes – what’s he going to wear, I wonder, for the next week/s?
Things are different within the familiarity of each room. There’s a piano in my dining room; a spider plant occupies the space where my pedestal used to stand in the lounge room; a canvas of a scene from Natone is on the wall where a scene from Scottsdale used to hang. The TV is smaller and the screen that covered the mess of cords is gone. Not so the mess of cords!
It’s disconcerting. Strange.
I open the pantry and immediately feel to comfort of the familiar; I stand there, like an old lady who’s forgotten what she went to the pantry for, just to feel the refreshment of familiarity.
But the fridge is different and the cutlery drawer is full of plastic knives and forks. I am disconcerted again.
I look in the mirror and see my familiar face, and it’s the same … but not quite. There’s a change, a small one, but a change nevertheless. I had forgotten, and for a moment am caught out. Then look away, seeking the familiar.
But at every turn, something has changed. It’s strangely familiar, but just as strangely unfamiliar.
It’s not comfortable.