Louise's House

"I've returned to the room I picked for myself. Picked is not exactly the right word; it's not that I'm especially relaxed here, or feel comfortable, or even feel at home. Instead, I think it's the colours that drew me, snaring me like a bird. The dense clutter of objects, even those that bother me when I lie down or sleep, bizarrely makes me want to stay here, touching, laughing, sometimes giving myself a fright. There's no bed but I don't mind lying on the floor, especially since the few other beds in the house are either too hard or already occupied. Apart from the red forearm-inflated like a balloon and placed on a kind of chopping block-nothing really frightens me. I can go up to everything and even touch: I can unwind a bobbin of thread, but not too far, and then carefully wind it back again so no one will notice; or play with the little case; or cradle the dog's head like a doll. Or I can climb the little red ladder like a fireman in case the house catches fire, or even blow gusts of wind on the hurricane lamp. But I don't look at the hourglasses. They're too shiny, they look like candy floss, sweets, caramel-but I'm sure they'll feel pulpy, and I don't want to think about them. In other rooms, I confess I hesitate to touch things sometimes. I'm afraid my finger will get stuck in something hairy or moist, that my nails will be caked with pulp, with the flesh of parts unknown. I have to rouse myself, start walking. I have to invent new pathways to reach rooms. Sometimes I think it's either the house or me."