All the clocks in my house are set to different times. None are set to your time. They are set to different time zones. I have a few that have completely stopped. When people ask about the stopped clocks I tell them the clocks are set to Helsinki time. When people point out that the clocks are all stopped at different times I just laugh and say ‘that’s Helsinki for you’.
There’s a strange smell in my house. Actually, there is no smell. No smell at all. That’s what’s so strange about it. You probably think you wouldn’t notice the lack of a smell but you do. It’s like when fridge buzz stops and you’re suddenly aware of the silence. When you walk through my door you are suddenly aware of the lack of smell. People say to me ‘hey, why doesn’t it smell in here?’ and I answer ‘maybe no one farted’ and give a little laugh.
People get a bit freaked out at my house. There are no pictures on the walls. I have no curtains or blinds or light shades or even lights. When I have guests and the sun goes down I’m usually asked to turn on a light or at least get a torch or a candle. I refuse. I tell my guests we’re better off in the dark. ‘You don’t want to see what’s in here with us’ I say. They ask me what I mean. I tell them they know exactly what I mean. They say they don’t and get worked up and demand to know what’s in the room with us. ‘Each other’, I tell them. ‘Isn’t that bad enough?’ I ask.
I keep this huge owl in my bathroom. He’s kind of the boss in there.
There’s a room upstairs in my house that people sometimes wander into by accident while looking for the bathroom. There’s a trampoline in this room and a really skinny lady is bouncing on it and weeping. ‘I’m so hungry’, she pleads. Visitors tell her to come down off the trampoline and get something to eat. I tell them that there’s no use trying to reason with her. ‘That’s my wife’, I explain, ‘she’s addicted to the endorphins released by the bouncing. She’s like a crack addict. She can’t stop. I’ll throw her a sandwich later. She can eat it while she jumps.’
I have an office in my house. I’ve got a lot of files in there. People wonder what’s in the files. I tell them that files are in the files. Then they ask what are in the files in the files and I tell them more files. This usually goes on for a while until they discover that there are a never ending amount of files within files and that the office stores infinity. The files have names on them, ‘MacCruiskeen’, ‘Pluck’, and so on. ‘Why do the files have names on them?’ I’m asked. ‘Why does anything have a name?’ I ask back. I’m pretentious that way.
My house has no garden but I mow the lawn daily. Just to be on the safe side.
As you enter my house, you see a huge electrical pylon to the west. When you leave it’s to the east. Everyone notices this. No one mentions it. It makes me laugh.
People tend not to stay too long when they come over to my house. They grow tired of my cryptic pronouncements. The constant squeaking of trampoline springs plays upon their nerves. They can’t piss with the owl staring at them. They usually end up bumping into something when it’s dark. Even when it’s daylight, the strange architecture of the place makes them uneasy, spatially discombobulated and a little dizzy.
People don’t stay long and rarely visit but that’s OK with me. I’ve got things to do. I’ve got clocks to unset and owl shit to clean up. I’ve got to make a sandwich for the wife and sort through infinity by name. Don’t let that put you off though. I mean, it would be OK if you wanted to pop around for a cup of something. You’ll take the cup and put it to your lips. Then you’ll spit the contents out in disgust and say ‘what the hell was that?’ I’ll just laugh and shrug and answer ‘something’.
Why not come around on Wednesday? I’ll be pretending that it’s Tuesday. It’s always Tuesday in Helsinki.