painting by Ade Hodges

At night, the fridge seemed to groan intermittently like a lazy monster.  Reckon it made the same noises  during the day that went unnoticed. But at night, lying awake with the day’s worries rekindled for the night, I would hear the fridge moan, sigh, go silent for some while, then start moaning and sighing again.
Getting up in the morning, I often inspected the fridge door for any new post-it messages stuck there, not expecting any at all, living on my own in a self- contained flat, as I did. But lately, I noticed some post-its that I couldn’t remember writing, and they never made sense. Well, they were words strung out as if they should mean something at least in some as yet unknown context, like “The scribe scribbled a score for school”.  In the circumstances of the fridge’s night-time noises, the one message that made most sense was: “Daytime dreams and dribbles.” But even that one faded in and out of sense until I screwed it up and threw it in the bin.
The strange thing was they were all in my handwriting. That worried me.

Then for nights on end, the fridge didn’t make any noises. Or I slept so soundly, I didn’t hear them.
Then, a few weeks later, I was woken rudely by not groaning, moaning and sighing, but a definite mechanical grinding noise, far louder than I had ever heard before.
When I got up, there weren’t any new post-its. But a whole new gaggle of fridge magnets on the door, solidly badge-like, looking a bit like those framed messages some people put on their Facebook pages. You know what I mean. Proverbs or neat sayings with which to guide one’s life. Or pictures or photos enscribed with wisdom in words.
It was as if my fridge door had become a solid Facebook time-line.
The next night I heard the fridge twittering.
I never got up again. My life had reached its limit of characters. If you’re that cold, you must be dead.  Neat proverb to end with, I guess.

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