6. The Coffin

The move was so brutally abrupt, and the change in lifestyle so radical, that it left my head spinning. But, it's what I could afford; I've had to acknowledge the fact that I was living way above my means in the woodland home I'd built.

Despite having about the same square footage of living space as before (amazingly), I was sorely lacking room for hobbies. The house I'd built in the woods was expressly designed to support my lifestyle; the mobile home, on the other hand, was most certainly not. Consequently, once I'd set up my computer workstation in the 70-square-foot second bedroom, I had precious little space left for hobbies.

Meanwhile, a whopping 56 square feet were wasted on a foyer, in particular an utterly useless mud room (above left), which had bothered me from day one. Things began to turn around a little when, on 25 October 2022, I was inspired to tear out the mud room (above right). I repurposed this newly-freed space for a sizeable bookcase, which cleared out the second bedroom closet for sorely-needed modeling supply storage.

Unfortunately, I was still totally disinterested in modeling. I'd no idea if this would change over time; more disturbingly, I didn't care. Life here sucked almost all interests out of me, and I spent much of my time listening to music and staring blankly out into space, waiting for... well... the end.

Despite having lived here for months, I'd still not accepted it as my home, even after all of the extensive renovations I'd made. The feeling I had was more like that of staying in an apartment for a while, expecting at some point to return home—even knowing full well I'd moved on, and this was home. It would seem I was still in denial, and I wondered if that would ever go away.

Christmas 2022 weekend was particularly troubling: virtually the entire country was getting slammed by a winter "cyclone bomb" that set records for low temperatures and snowfall amounts in states that typically never saw snow. New Jersey escaped the snow, but not the cold, which was keeping me up nights—not out of concern for my new place; the new heat pump is rated down to 0°. No, I was worried about the woodland home I'd left behind.

The new owner bought it as a "getaway pad." I carefully explained to him that it was designed and built to be a full-time residence, and that it cannot be winterized. He understood and acknowledged same. From what I'd learned, however, he'd not been back to the house since closing. When I'd moved out, I left the heat on low. But the heat pump there is only rated down to about 20°, and Christmas Eve was forecast to hit a low of 6°, followed by several nights in the teens. I feared water pipes would burst and flood the place; damage could be significant. But, I simply couldn't worry about it; it was no longer my property, no longer my responsibility. Still, I'd poured my heart and soul into that place; I'm forever connected to it. How could I not be concerned?

But then, the day after Christmas things really started to unravel for me. I was thinking about dipping my toe back into modeling when I discovered that a box full of hobby stuff was lost during the move. And not just any box, but the single most important one of all. It contained quite a few valuable tools, as well as a significant number models, including some of the finest work I've done in recent years. I didn't see me recovering from this: I couldn't afford to replace all of the tools, and I'd never be able to replicate the lost models. Consequently, I gave up any thoughts of going back to modeling, and that carved a huge hole out of my soul.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I fell into deep depression. It got so bad that I began to worry friends. It was time for me to put on a façade, to present to the world the outward appearance of relative normalcy and contentment, although I hid—and still hide—much from others. Only one very close friend knows the truth: that I despise living here.

I had to invent new pastimes for myself. I turned to my websites: revising old ones, building new ones, anything to keep my mind off of all that I'd lost over the last several months. I'd no idea how long the self-deception would work, but probably not long enough so see me through to the end of my days.

Morbid topic, yes, but death is also a fact of life. I had a friend over one evening, and I did some "plain talking" about how I feel. He was actually somewhat surprised when I came out with "I hate this fucking place." He thought I liked it here—how he arrived at that I cannot say. It's nothing more than an oversized coffin with indoor plumbing. I'm just counting the days.

I long to be here instead, while I can still appreciate such a place, although it's not important for me to make it the last thing I see before I pass. I won't remember the last thing I see, so what does it matter?

It couldn't be much longer—I sincerely hoped, anyway. I felt as though I weigh 800 pounds. I need to take a breather in between socks as I put them on. I get out of breath almost at the thought of getting out of breath. "Go to the hospital," well-meaning friends advise. No, I am letting Nature take its course. No more needles. No more tests. No more lectures on all the things I'm doing wrong. Ask me if I give a shit. Prolonging my life just means prolonging my pain and anxiety. Why would I ever want to do that?

I have nothing left to do, nothing left to prove, nothing left to say. I am done. Spent. I've never believed in anything to do with "spirituality," so I can say with a high degree of confidence I won't be seeing anyone "on the other side." Nor will I be in a "better place," because I'll be no place at all. I am ready for my one-way dead-end trip to the magnificent void.

Actually, this whole notion of "nothingness" is somewhat intriguing... I am, and then I'm not. For me, it's not even an experience of never having existed. Aside from some material possessions, all that will remain of me are others' memories. Then, one by one, they too will slip into nothingness, and the Universe will never have known I was here.

Good. I didn't ask to be born, I've never "loved life," so I have nothing to lose except constant pain and anxiety.

Everyone will know when I'm gone: my home page will be updated one last time with an unambiguous message.

One Year Later

I write this on 13 October 2023, just a few days more than a year since I moved in. My feelings about the place have not changed: I'm still mentally awaiting the time when I can move back to my property, or something substantially similar. I'm still physically and emotionally unwell. I do everything I can to distract myself from my actual existence, without much success. I feel cornered, trapped. Too may people—far and away too many people—in close proximity. Way too few trees, way too few wild animals. I feel entirely severed from nature.

I feel as if I'm being punished. Of course, if I'm being honest, I created this mess myself. I've made a laundry list of mistakes that have brought me here, and acknowledge I have no one to blame but myself. Try as I may to point my finger at someone/something as the source of my woes, I cannot. I did this to myself.

And given these truths, I must stop whining. I must accept this as my self-created purgatory. In the grand scheme of things, it's not all that bad. I do have a roof over my head, after all, and a not altogether awful one. Things could be much, much worse; there was a time, not long ago, when I might have been well and truly homeless. And besides, it's just a brief stop along the way to my grave. So, it's time for me to quit feeling sorry for myself, and just fucking deal with it.

Also See...

Moving In < Index > One Last Look Back

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