Thursday, November 15, 2018

Su casa es su casa

Staying in someone else’s house is weird. No matter how much they say to make myself at home, I just can’t. And, honestly, they wouldn’t want me to. Because, to me, being at home means wandering around in my underwear (or less), leaving the bathroom door open, eating out of a pot while standing at the sink, spreading various projects on all available horizontal surfaces, going the entire day without talking to anyone or acknowledging their presence… Instead, I play the role of the Good Houseguest. That’s exhausting.

It’s not any better when my hosts are away, when I’m watching the house and tending the pet. “Here are the keys,” they say, “and the emergency contacts, the wifi password, and the instructions for that slightly malfunctioning appliance. Help yourself to whatever’s in the fridge and cupboards.” But left unsaid is, “Don’t steal anything, break anything, befoul anything, clog anything, flood anything, set anything on fire, or conduct a criminal enterprise. And, most of all, don’t go snooping around trying to discover our embarrassing secrets. If you accidentally discover an embarrassing secret while looking for, say, a garlic press (though why you’d be looking for it in the master bedroom closet is a mystery) just erase that new knowledge from your brain. Otherwise we’ll have to kill you.” That means I need to play the Good Houseguest on the Honor System, which is twice as exhausting, even if I’m free to drink all the tequila, naked.

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