A recently vacuumed floor…a couch with no crumbs or clumps of cat hair…a full and clean refrigerator…a newly made bed—a feeling approaching zen.
That was never me (before). The teenager who had to slog through piles of papers, clothes, legos, model cars, books, and computer parts to make it to his bed. I pretended to enjoy the mess, the smell, the dirt. I wallowed in it. I complained that picking up would only destroy my “creative process.”
Now I have dreams. Nightmares. I am trying to pack in a hurry. I am frantically shoving clothes and binders and dolls into a suitcase. But once I fill one, another appears. I open a closet only to find more. Cardboard boxes overflowing with junk. I begin picking up the boxes, filling them with stray socks and hardbound volumes but once I make it to the door the box slips out of my hands and end-over-end into a newly-found pile that multiplies instantaneously. Before I know it the room is flooded to knee level and I begin to panic…
It is the day after cleaning day. Yes, we have a maid. She is amazing. While we take the kids upstairs to hide, she turns our own personal refuse heap into a sparkling diamond (this is not to say we don’t keep a tidy home, but one can only be so tidy with a toddler, an infant, two full-time jobs, and a desperate need to get in at least one hour a night of conversation or mindless Netflix viewing).
As the day progresses, we carefully pick up every abandoned toy, every crumb left behind, every onion scrap that didn’t make it to the bin. While my wife is bathing the infant and getting him ready for bed, I sit on the couch with my soon-to-be three-year-old and fold the legs of action figures so that they can sit on the coffee table. Within minutes he jumps down to grab his shopping cart full of plastic vegetables, and I remind him he must first put away his guys. He obeys, squatting down next to me dropping them in one-by-one.
For me, this website is a clean home. Sure, it was me doing the tidying up, but on-screen cleaning is a helluvalot easier than in “meatspace.”
I’ve dusted the corners, re-mounted the family photos, and even re-painted some furniture. You’ll notice a general sense of organization that my teenage-self would spit at, but to that, I say, teenage-self, GO FUCK YOURSELF.
WordPress is King and here I am. There are now six categories up-top, one of which only contains one entry. Go investigate and see why that is. When you find it, feel free to offer up suggestions on some new possibilities.
For now, I am content to just pick the damn thing up again, carve out the mold with a rusty pocket knife, and dive back in.
I hope to do better. I hope to fucking write on occasion. I hope that the words come out right. Mostly, I just want to have a nice little place to go when the things inside begin to overflow, to spill-out beyond the veil.
Thanks for reading.
Minutes after cleaning up his figures, my son is running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room, making me pancakes, cookies, oranges, and three-bean burritos. And as I begin playfully chomping down on a bowl of strawberry ice cream topped with salt and syrup, I realize he has already turned around and begun running back to his kitchen, slapping his forehead and announcing “I forgot the oranges!”
No one is looking at me, and I have a fake spoon raised to my mouth, about to bite down on a deliciously fake sweet and salty concoction. Watching his little legs sprint away towards the kitchen I realize I don’t have to chew. I don’t have to make yummy noises and I don’t have to slowly shake my head like this is the best goddamn strawberry ice cream salty burrito I’ve ever had.
But I do it anyway.