"The Accommodations

of Despair"

Jade Wallace

Jade Wallace, a writer from the Niagara Fruit Belt, is currently at work on their MA in Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. Their work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Studies in Social Justice, The Stockholm Review, Room Magazine, and elsewhere. Their most recent solo chapbook is Rituals of Parsing (Anstruther Press, 2018). They are part of the writing collaborative MA|DE, whose first chapbook was Test Centre (ZED Press, 2019). They are also an organizing member of Draft Reading Series and one half of The Leafy Greens, a band whose music has been incorrectly described as "psychedelic stoner metal."


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"'The Accommodations of Despair' very liberally paraphrases an anonymous tenant's disorientingly odd application to the Landlord and Tenant Board and incorporates allusions to Surrealist art, including Dali's painting The Accommodations of Desire."

     The Tenant rented a subterranean refrigerator,

     which she had never enjoyed with any humanity.

     The refrigerator growled and had poor air circulation

     and was covered in nauseating spots. Her cold teeth

     chattered all night. Worst of the lot was the

     meat drawer where she slept. It seemed to

     live in her more than she lived in it. She asked

     the Landlord to domesticate the spotted feral cat.

     One morning at four, the Landlord entered the

     refrigerator but all she found there, apart from the

     surprised Tenant, were broken bowls, a few ants,

     and a displaced crisper drawer. “Those were

     there when I moved in,” the Tenant said.

     The temperature of the refrigerator was tested and

     locked. The Landlord turned to the Tenant.

     The Tenant asked the Landlord not to get close

     to her, but it was no use. The Tenant held up her

     palms to protect her face from the Landlord’s

     proximity. Nevertheless, the Tenant’s left

     hand was injured and extravasated blood.

     Her twists were hurt and turned to blue.

     The Landlord went out of the apartment,

     returning a few minutes later with an

     agreement to terminate the tenancy. It said:

     “The damages, I agreed to all of them.”

     There was a line below for the Tenant’s

     signature. They did not discuss interpretation.

     The Tenant signed. The Landlord signed.

     The paper made such a maudlin show of ripping

     itself apart that it turned to a crush of ice chips.

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