It's not about the house.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red + White + Blue = Purple Panties

One thing I’ve always liked about living alone is that you're sure to know where you can find things. If I put the scissors in the top middle drawer then, goddammit, that is where they will be when I need them. If they aren’t, well, then I can just walk backwards in my mind till I remember the last time I used them, then go retrieve them from the back seat of the car. And just you never mind why I might need scissors in the back seat of the car.

This works for everything, not just lost objects. If there’s water on the floor, then I must have been the one that spilled it (or else the dog, who – while very good with “lie down on your bed” – has not quite managed yet to master “mop that up”). If the counter isn’t wiped, I didn’t wipe it (that’s just a for-instance, though; it never happens). And if the toilet seat’s left up, that’s how I left it (I was dumping out mop buckets, everyone, calm down; I haven’t grown any new parts or had any new visitors or developed any new skills – yet).

If anyone's going to slip in a puddle or put a sleeve in a pile of salsa or fall in the toilet in the middle of the night, it'll be me. And I've always been able to get mad at myself and get over it without having to endure the screaming and yelling and name-calling and shit-throwing and filing for divorce. After all, I’m going to be 41 in three weeks. If I haven’t learned to live with me by now, I never will.

So the other day, I finally finished cleaning out this house -- my mom's house, where I'm by-myself-living these days. It's taken me the best part of a month, but I am finished. Finished-finished. Finished, finished-finished, finished.

Finished!

(Well, I mean, of course there’s still a shed full of trash bags waiting to be hauled off to the dump. And a basement full of clothes and stuff waiting to be hauled off to Salvation Army. But they’ll be taken care of in due time, my friends, don’t fret. I’m going to be up here for months. And in the meantime, all of the parts that are actually house-parts – the living-area parts; the parts I have to look at and walk around in as I go about my daily grind – are done. Finished. Except for Dad’s room. And the gross spot on the kitchen floor. But I'm not supposed to be touching Dad's room, and I can’t do anything about the gross spot till I have a houseguest strong enough to help me move the fridge…)

The job I left to last (except for the above-mentioned except-fors) was the front porch, which is actually in the back of the house -- because why build a cabin in the middle of the woods and then set your breezy, beautiful, three-season sleeping-porch to face the street? Der. That was a brilliant move on Mom’s part, I have to say, back when the house was a Hershey bar and all she had to do was turn the dang blueprint around.

But over the years – and especially over the last year – the breezy, beautiful, three-season sleeping-porch had become a sort of catchall. The bed was buried beneath recyclables, empty Tupperware containers, and still-packed luggage from some never-taken trip. The back wall was lined with shopping bags of Christmas presents, bought for whom, I don't suppose we’ll ever know. The chairs and tables were piled high with glassware for some reason. And in the corner something sticky slowly seeped, unnoticed for god-only-knows how long.

Till now.

I have to admit, I’d been using the porch as a bit of a catchall my own self since I got here. Anytime I had something I didn’t know what to do with, or simply couldn’t face, I’d find an empty space out there to put it down – knowing that in the end, if I needed her, my sister would come help me see it through. But in the end I didn’t. In the end, I put my head down (along with a six-pack of Old Thumper), and I turned up the music and got it done.

Incidentally, I can’t say I recommend Kris Kristofferson for this sort of situation. Yeesh.

There was a throw-rug in the sticky corner that I came this close to tossing, but it’s red and blue, and this is the 4th of July weekend, after all. Plus I happen to know this rug was one of the very first things she bought to decorate this cabin – back before she decided to go with a forest-green motif instead, thereby nullifying the red and blue glass lanterns we brought back for her from Istanbul. Those lanterns are still hanging on the porch, though, so I decided I should keep the rug as well. Took it out in the woods and shook the hell out of it, then popped it in the washing machine to wait for a full load.

That was three days ago. And it’s July. So naturally I have been, shall we say, glistening excessively through my workout every morning. But I live alone now, so even with the glistening it still takes a couple days to build up enough laundry for a wash, by which point the workout clothes smell just exactly like a bed of roses – if a bed of roses somehow managed to crawl up my glistening ass and die. So this morning, when I ran the wash, for once in my entire life, I ran it hot.

The rug, I'm happy to report, came out like new.

And there ain’t no one else to blame the purple panties on but me.

5 comments:

12ontheinside said...

A rug? You washed a red and blue rug on hot? How did it not come out all mixed up purple itself!

atlanticmo said...

God Bless America, Home of the Brave.

oldgreymare said...

Happy Fourth!

Now, if we could just convince you to add more pics to go along with the magnificent text.

not of the panties! you goof...but of the porch pre and post..otherwise how do we give kudos?

z

ege said...

12 - Well, gee, I don't know! But it didn't...

Mo - That'd be me, right? ;-)

OGM -- I brought the camera up with me last week When I went down, but I forgot the cord that makes the pictures go in the computer. Next time... (P.S. I know you sign off "z," and I know what your real name is, but I like addressing you as OGM -- I think it makes us both sound a little gangsta)

Cat Connor said...

I'm glad the rug came out clean!

Shame about the panties, but hey, purple is a good color!! :D