What would it feel like to be under house arrest? To be sentenced to remain confined within your house indefinitely? It has been done before, both in reality and in fiction. A recent true life example is the leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi,
and the fictional hero of the best selling novel by Amor Towles, A Man in Moscow, Alexander Illyich Rostov.
Being confined to home means to never to have the privilege of dashing out for a quart of milk, a loaf of bread, a gallon of Rocky Fudge ice cream. You’d never have the opportunity to see a neighbor at the produce department, learn about sales prices for the week, or have the pleasure of pushing around a rickety old cart with squeaky wheels turned in opposite directions.
If you are not free to go to the grocery store, who is supposed to do the shopping? Does the confinement mean that someone else will do all the shopping and the meal preparation? And will they clean up too? And take out the garbage?
Think of all you could accomplish without distractions of any kind: you could pay all your bills in time, address birthday cards to rarely seen nieces and nephews, order unusual items from bizarre catalogues. Buy stuff, look at it, try it on and send it back. Or you could become a record-breaking best selling author, granting interviews from the privacy of your enforced ecosystem.
You’d have time to try all those recipes you’ve been cutting out of newspapers and magazines all these years. You might even write your own cook book, “Rescued Recipes from A Defunct Life.”
You’d have the time to read as many of those newspapers and magazines as you wished, although being so well informed wouldn’t do you too much good if you were forced to stay home, never having the chance to demonstrate your range of knowledge. There’d be nobody with whom you could debate the important issues of the day.
Does being under house arrest mean you can’t have visitors? Not even a sparring partner to argue points about the information you’ve gathered from all your reading? What about telephones and computers: would you be allowed to use them, or is all communication with outside world out of limits to you? Can you open your door and get a breath of fresh air, shoo the troublesome chipmunks eating your garden, or wave to a neighbor?
Who pays the bills? And where does the money come from? Surely not from the secret slush fund you’ve been hiding. Hopefully nobody has found out about that!
As I ponder this question and all the other question it arouses I must conclude that until my questions are answered I strongly state that I refuse to be under house arrest. Have their people meet with my people and work it all out.