Anna wakes up every morning, after only two or three hours of sleep and lays there for a minute thinking “why should I get out of bed?”
She gets up and wanders into the kitchen, takes the vitamin that she hopes will help her frail body and then she turns on the television to see if any towers have been hit by airplanes. If not, she tries to concentrate long enough to get an idea of what is going on in the world…but she doesn’t care.
After a one or two-hour numb-fest, she decides to go make her bed and get dressed. The clothes she wore yesterday are laying on the bathroom floor. She picks them up and puts them on…again. They’re the same clothes she has worn for the last week…but she doesn’t care.
She decides to gather up all the pictures of those who were once her family and pack them away in a box. She is taking a painful, drastic move to erase all vestiges of the last forty years of her life…but she doesn’t care.
She thinks about selling all of her fine china and crystal, which have been in bins under her house for almost a year. In the past she had gone to so much trouble to make sure she could set a proper, formal table for visitors and family…but nobody ever came.
She wanted to set a romantic table to celebrate her anniversary…but her husband thought she was ridiculous. Somehow, sitting in a bar or going to a golf tournament was always more enticing to him so she spent her anniversary alone.
She thinks she could smash the dishes into a thousand bits and make a mosaic out of the shattered pieces but she won’t. That would require energy that she no longer has. She thinks maybe she could sit them out on the curb and post “free stuff” on Craigslist. She thinks about how many thousands of dollars those things are worth…but she doesn’t care.
She thinks about her collection of French Jumeau dolls that she dressed all in white and how she meticulously replicated their original outfits. She named them and since she was alone most of the time, she talked to them and told them her secrets and hopes and dreams. Sometimes she would sit one of them on her lap while she watched television, waiting for somebody to come home.
Eventually, she put it back with the others and went to bed because she got tired of waiting.
They are packed up somewhere. She doesn’t even know where…and she doesn’t care.
She looks at her collection of hand-painted Limoges that represented things in her life. There were little sewing machines, dress forms, spools of thread, doll houses and a grand piano. There was a pumpkin to represent a “pet name.” Those little boxes once meant so much to her. They mean nothing now…and she doesn’t care.
She thinks about her sewing machines. She thinks about the incredibly expensive quilter that sits on the floor in her basement…the one that was a gift when somebody was trying to buy her forgiveness. She thinks about selling them because she knows she will never even turn them on again, much less run them. She thinks she could probably get quite a bit of money for them but she won’t sell them. That would require an effort that she doesn’t want to exert.
She knows they will eventually seize up…but she doesn’t care.
She thinks about the two rooms full of fabric that will never be cut or fashioned into anything. The fabric that was so carefully chosen for a special quilt. The fabric that she would run her fingers over and visualize how it would be instrumental in creating a beautiful work of art. Those little pieces of inspiration used to be her friends. They aren’t her friends anymore…and she doesn’t care.
She thinks about the mountainous amount of decorations that are taking up half of her garage and one room in her basement. She thinks she should sell them since she no longer decorates for the holidays. It would require tedious, back-breaking scrutiny to through the bins and find the things that were family treasures. She wonders if she would even want to see them again. She thinks it would be painful to see the handmade ornaments her children had given to her. She thinks she could just slap a for sale sign on every container and let it go. She thinks about selling forty years worth of collectible Hallmark ornaments, her childrens’ now almost antique toys and her entire past…and she doesn’t care.
She remembers her vast collection of “The Night Before Christmas” books. Some of them are from the years she and her children were born. She intended to give them to her namesake but she doesn’t even know her namesake anymore. She will get rid of them…and she doesn’t care.
She opens her closet and looks at the designer clothes and shoes. Some of them still have tags that were never cut off. She remembers buying them to try to fill an emptiness. She knows she will never wear them again so she’ll pack them up and get rid of them…and she doesn’t care.
Mostly, she remembers how much she looked forward to having a life, where she was the only one who mattered to somebody. She now knows that life will never be…and she doesn’t care.
Anna looks at the sum of her life, confined to a few rooms in a house that has never really felt like her own. She’ll eventually get rid of the house, too…and she doesn’t care.