augury doggerel

Monday, September 02, 2002


We are not the neatest pair. We may, in fact, be the least neat pair. Life is better when you can put something down � a book, say, or an apple core � and know that it will still be there if you decide to return to it tomorrow. And who needs floors you could eat from when you generally eat from plates? I like floors you can walk on without feeling somehow destructive.

But humility and various neuroses and a certain voodoo instinct made me spend a day scrubbing the apartment we were leaving. There is no guarantee that the next tenants won't be witch doctors (dentists had an office across the hall), and witch doctors work their art with as little as a nail clipping or a snipped hair. I have shaved a Methuselah's beard of red fuzz over that little bathroom sink.

So I finally scrubbed away the spaghetti sauce spilled behind the oven and the coffee splashed on the kitchen wall. I swept and mopped in places that never needed to be that clean. I scrubbed things we had never scrubbed (or even used) while we lived there, scrubbed things that the previous tenants probably had never cleaned. I dashed entire buckets of water onto the bathroom floor and pushed the waves down the floor drain. I dismantled the oven and cleaned the parts.

And into the new place, leaving nothing behind and heaving everything into the future. This morning, the first day of school, cat and kid and woman and I made a fine mess.


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