It's been a long-standing dream of mine to vacation at a cabin in the woods. I finally made that dream a reality, and it's been worth it. Even with the surprises the week dealt me.
Enjoying My Surprising Company #
One perk of going to a remote cabin is getting away from people for a while. But there are even more small creatures living in a cabin than I expected. I didn't need to make conversation with any of them, so it wasn't that bad. Most of them were like college roommates; we don't talk much, and we hang something on the doorknob when we need privacy.
There's a little spider that enjoys sitting on the bathroom nightlight that I call Mateo. We exchange greetings, go about our business, but aren't so close we'll share any meals together. I only wish he respected my privacy more, especially since we always meet in the bathroom. Please respect my boundaries, Mateo.
The other co-residents that don't give me enough space are the mice. At first, the pitter-patter of mouse paws was a comforting background lull. That lasted until I laid down in bed and heard that noise right behind my pillow. Every mouse then sounded like a tiny assassin sneaking up to bite my jugular. Then they'll wag their tails and nibble some cheese as they watch me wither away. They'd leave my body untouched as a message to the owners: this is our turf now.
Despite realizing mice are monsters, it was tough seeing my first dead one in a mousetrap. I'll never forget how they looked an instant before their crushing death.
This was actually kind of traumatizing. I pried open the trap only to see a cute little mouse's dead, pleading eyes staring at me from the afterlife. Then I tossed the corpse into the woods for a larger animal to soullessly devour.— Max Antonucci (@Maxwell_Dev) October 2, 2020
Cabin living is brutal.
The geese in the nearby lake seem to have already got the “keep away from humans” message. While canoeing, or any time I walked close to the water, they'd start honking and swimming away. They know to fear humans, both as beings who sell little traps of death and people that interrupt their mating.
Some have told me the geese don't care about humans and will do (and screw) whatever they want around us. But I'm not convinced the geese don't like me. I mean, don't like humans in general. This isn't about me projecting social anxieties onto animals. It's about geese being weird. It's their fault!
The only animals I had a mostly good experience with here were the cows. I'd see them grazing on farmlands during my morning jogs. They seem to go back to the barn while acting like first-grade students. One waits at the door while the others follow them in a single file line, and it was adorable. Less adorable is the way they turned their heads and stared as I jogged by. Like undead dolls twisting their necks to stare while the rest of their body is still as stone. It's not the “haunt my dreams” creepy as the dead mouse's eyes, but it's closer to it than I'd like.
Not Enjoying my Thoughts #
Being alone out here also brings out harsher thoughts and self-reflection. These are thoughts about how I identify as a writer even though I'm doing a lot less writing lately.
- How I don't know if that's due to perfectionism, insecurities, or a need for external validation.
- How it's made my writing habits weak and chipped away at my motivation.
- Worst of all, how I've often confused “taking action” with “spinning my mental wheels around.”
Being alone with all the above was not fun. I then learned it's more fun to watch YouTube streamers play “Among Us” so my thoughts fade to blissful static. But then the videos end and I'm even more anxious.
So I suck it up, turn off the distractions, and attack all that anxiety by writing whatever's in my head. I write about how I've been living in a cabin surrounded by different creatures and demonic mice. Then I wind up back to my anxious thoughts and seeing them written as another blog post. They're still there, making me feel uneasy, but seeing them written out makes them easier to handle. They're not an invisible phantom gnawing at my brain, just words on a screen.
It's also a reminder that I can break my procrastination if I try. I just need to sit down and write something. Anything. It doesn't need to be perfect, posted online, or even make sense. I only need to put words somewhere, so they're not in my head. It doesn't matter if they have no spelling mistakes, aren't mind-blowing content, or don't get read by anyone.
Once my head is clear, I can go outside and enjoy the lake feeling calmer. For one last day before I head back home.