The Refrigerator: I left in a bit of a rush, so I had no time to dump leftovers or get rid of the head of lettuce that was already starting to look dubious. Apparently, neither did Paolo. Every covered plate, funky head of lettuce and moldy piece of cheese was still there, along with two cartons of expired milk.

The Dishwasher: My first night back, I opened the dishwasher to load a few things. The smell about knocked me over. No one had opened it in a week, and the few dirty dishes that I’d loaded before I left were still there, unwashed.

The Sink: The kitchen sink was empty except for a large cup and saucer. Paolo made himself his normal breakfast of cappuccino every morning but ate every other meal at his mother’s house.