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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ralph Garnello considers the world without him. Via MeFi.

Two days after my disappearance, very little has changed in my apartment. A red dot blinks on the answering machine, announcing a missed call. The refrigerator’s compressor turns on and off at regular intervals. A cockroach emerges from under the stove and skitters beneath the dishwasher. The most noticeable difference is the milk, which has been left out on the counter and gone sour. Perhaps I had it out when I inexplicably vanished. More likely, I just forgot to put it away again, as usual.

Ten days after I’m gone, the roaches move about with impunity. Rats scurry, unseen, through the cabinets. The houseplant near the window is brown and withered, although it could have been like that before my departure. I never paid much attention to it. The milk on the counter is slowly turning into a solid, giving off a foul odor that blends in seamlessly with those emanating from the month-old pizza boxes and piles of dirty laundry.

After three months, animals not usually encountered in urban areas will have ventured into the apartment. Wolves roam freely, scavenging for food and drinking out of the toilet. An antelope buries its snout in a half-empty box of Cheerios. A mountain lion knocks over the milk, rendering the entire kitchen and part of the connecting hall uninhabitable for several months...