Sleeping with a robot

Covid quarantine, continued.

The air purifier in my room is cylindrical, white, and about two feet tall, coming across as a cute robot — until you operate it, that is. It emits an eerie blue light that waxes and wanes — a chilly blue. Eye cover takes care of that, but the noise is inescapable. It should read as white noise but somehow doesn’t. After three days I can’t help but feel the thing is sentient and a tad malevolent.

The bedroom now reminds me of a somewhat creepy Airbnb we stayed in for a night near Portland, Oregon. It was a filler stop the night before flying home and I hadn’t been terribly picky, but you never know with these places, do you?

We got to the modest bungalow late and the place was dark. Everything was in order — clean, well-appointed, but? There was a communal kitchen you didn’t want to be in. The bathroom forced you out into a shared and dark hallway. I couldn’t put my finger on why it made me feel uneasy then and still can’t really. But it did.

I know not to doubt these impressions anymore. Maybe if I wrote about it one of my fellow writers would say the piece paints a classic picture of anxiety disorder (thanks, Linda*). But, so? When K and I were looking at houses there was one that made my skin crawl. K didn’t understand why I so badly wanted to leave but terrible things were happening within those walls, I just knew it.

The robot-air filter must be disturbing my sleep because I didn’t wake up until 10:30 this morning. TEN-THIRTY! I was vaguely aware of the mechanism timing out and going dark and silent — probably around three. I fell into a solid, deep sleep at that point.

Tonight, I’ll run it from five until bedtime and leave it off during the night. K hasn’t tested again yet but is likely still positive. I just read a physician’s explanatory twitter thread about how long a person can remain contagious. Oy.

I’ll cap this off with another mushroom picture from yesterday’s walk — ar, ar.

* Not her real name and it was okay, really. You should’ve heard the prompt response. It was about what a woman does to feel safe when her husband is out of town and might have involved setting up booby traps on the floor outside of her bedroom.