The cleaning lady walked in on me

Matt Rud
Matt Rud
Jul 15, 2016 · 2 min read

Every morning, I sit in a desk chair as upright as my slouchy body can, throw in headphones and a weird, nature soundtrack, via, and “meditate” (as all of my dumb worries interrupt I have to do this why did he say that should I do this or that or what about that but what if I decide and that is better than this and what if then something else comes up and wait she said what but I think it meant, and occasionally, I get a moment of clarity, and feel refreshed after 20 minutes …).

The other morning, I’m facing the wall, eyes closed, in my tiny Belgrade bedroom. It’s 10:30am, which feels like 6:30am to a late riser like me.


Don’t let it bother you, bro, you’re meditating! KNOCK, KNOCK. Return to the breath, that’s the point … KNOCK, KNOCK … is someone dying? my roommates are usually gone? KNOCK, KNOCK, I’m going to murder this person, KNOCK, KNOCK, jam a Pilot gel pen in their eye sockets… creeeeeeeak, door opening.

My eyes open and lock with a mid-50s-ish Serbian woman’s. She has a red old-lady haircut. I’m wearing boxers, and kilos of body hair. She looks undisturbed. She was staring at an American with his eyes closed and earphones in, facing a wall, doing nothing. Routine. Who is she?

“I change.” She points at my bed. Not her clothes; she’s pointing at the sheets. Phew.

I’m flustered and thoughts fly. Who is this woman? Why is she disturbing me? I wasn’t told about sheet-changing? Leave me alone! I’ve only slept in them a week!

I say nothing, confused, in a trance, and wander into our second bathroom on the other side of the apartment. I “meditate” on the closed toilet seat, mainly observing angry thoughts about this stranger who was doing her job.

Life goes on, I attend a birthday party that night, and get home, tipsy, at 2am, ready to pass out. There are no sheets on my bed, and I’m confused. I throw the comforter on as a sheet and sleep blanketless.

I still haven’t replaced my sheets, probably because I spend my time writing nonsensical posts instead of handling the immediacies of life. Finding sheets is boring.

I’ve slept fine. I used an extra towel as a blanket last night, because I’m the Jewish MacGyver.

Most of the minutiae is inessential. You can sleep without sheets. You can not react to an old lady bothering you by doing her job.

Or maybe I shouldn’t have written this and gotten some damn sheets instead. Eh, time to queue up tomorrow’s post.

Nomad Gonads

Weird stories as a writer travels the world with Remote Year.

Written by

Matt Rud

Author, publisher, traveler, fortune cookie.

Weird stories as a writer travels the world with Remote Year.

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