Friday, May 16, 2008


As we may or may not have clearly established here, I'm a compulsive cleaner... Usually.

There have been times when I've let things go. There have been times when I've let things go for too long. And with this recent bout of what I can only classify as mild depression, (stemming almost entirely from the shit storm of my life/profession,) I can now say that I have now on at least one occasion as an adult, I have officially let things go to the point where I have been embarrassed by my own squalor.

Yep, you read it here first.

I. actually. got. embarrassed.

My face was as red as a baboon's ass.

And all because I couldn't muster the will to get up and do a little basic housekeeping.

Now let me state quite clearly, and without doubt, that there are worse places out there. If I had kids, they wouldn't have been taken away over my messiness. (It's usually in those cases that I have to go in and instruct people on how to clean a house, or worse yet, put on some rubber gloves and go in and do it for them.) No, this was just my unwillingness to put away clean clothes, to put dirty clothes in the hamper, to put the dirty (but rinsed) dishes into the dishwasher, to take out the trash, to put things where they belong, to throw away the junk mail which tends to accumulate at an alarming rate, and to generally keep up with the messes that everyday life produces. And it wouldn't be so bad, but I've let it go for entirely too long because I've become lethargic and apathetic about the whole thing.

And I knew it was a mess. I KNEW IT. But it was clean the last time that the property manager sent anyone in to do maintenance, and those guys notwithstanding, I have a really tight control over who enters my domicile, and lately that guest list has been reduced to pathetic lil' ol' me.

So when I heard the knocking on my door this morning, I didn't panic right off. I get a fair amount of door-to-door solicitation here, so I thought it was someone wanting me to get cable, or delivery from the Schwann's man, or even the UPS guy delivering my latest Amazon book order.

I ignored the knocking and stayed prone in bed until I heard, "HELLO!? Maintenance! We're here to do the quarterly preventative spray for bugs."


They do this every three months. I should have seen this coming. But then again, I've been too consumed by my own misery to care about much of anything lately, so of course, I neglected to mark the calendar.

Instantly I yelled, "UMMM, GIVE ME A MINUTE!" (The minute was used to haul my ass out of bed and throw on a bathrobe, not to even consider the mess which I knew was FARRRR too great to be contained before they lost all patience and barged in anyway.)

So I tried to contain the most egregious areas of concern. I knew they were spraying for bugs, even though we don't have bugs, so my first thought was to try to somewhat contain the garbage situation. (I tend to wait until the last minute, or until things start to smell funny to take out the trash... Whichever comes first.) I tidied up the garbage situation a little bit just to ensure that an instant eviction wasn't cataloged on my already besmirched personal history, and let them in. They seemed to take a little pity on me given that I was in my bathrobe and slippers, noting that they were sorry to have to get me out of bed for this.

I hung my head in shame, apologized for the extent of the mess, and let them go about their business. One guy stood at the doorway, trying not to ogle the mess inside, making idle chit chat about the recent rain we've been having. The other guy went and sprayed the porch doorway in the living room, the kitchen vents, the bathroom vent, and the window in the bedroom. Basically, he took the full tour of the destruction. And despite my apology, I'm more than a bit certain that they had a little conversation about the tornado that must've blown through my place to cause such a classic study in filth, squalor, and ickyness. (This especially troubles me because my usual fastidious cleaning regimen has ensured that this place has looked like I can afford a live-in housekeeper every other time they've come by, and today was a study in the polar opposite.) They were here for a grand total of less than two minutes, and the whole time I hung my head in shame and apologized for my grossness.

I was mortified.

I have since done some cleaning, despite the fact that the damage is done, but the shame of the whole thing really just kind of fits with the theme I've got going here, which in case you're particularly dense, (which I don't think is the case,) is that my whole life seems to be degrading into a giant steaming heap of shit... and I'm getting to the point where I'm embarrassed by it in front of strangers, and yet still can't muster the ability to genuinely care enough to fix it.

1 comment:

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