Margaret Atwood

The Landlady

This is the lair of the landlady She is a raw voice loose in the rooms beneath me. the continuous henyard squabble going on below thought in this house like the bicker of blood through the head. She is everywhere, intrusive as the smells that bulge in under my doorsill; she presides over my meagre eating, generates the light for eyestrain. From her I rent my time: she slams my days like doors. Nothing is mine. and when I dream images of daring escapes through the snow I find myself walking always over a vast face which is the land- lady's, and wake up shouting. She is a bulk, a knot swollen in a space. Though I have tried to find some way around her, my senses are cluttered by perception and can't see through her. She stands there, a raucous fact blocking my way: immutable, a slab of what is real. solid as bacon.

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