My house is usually immaculately clean except for most of the time, when it isn’t.
Once upon a time I was fanatical about cleaning in preparation for the afterlife.
I didn’t ever want to walk out the door without having cleaned, in case it was someone else who had to come back in and deal with the madness. Kind of like: Always wear the good underwear in case you get hit by a bus.
I didn’t want anyone else to have to clean up after me.
Today I have perfect confidence in the fact that the spotlessness is there, beneath the spots. The cleanliness is a subtext, for the discerning. I want very much for someone, anyone, to clean up after me, dead or not. (Me, not them. But, them too, if that’s the case. I don’t care.)
I used to think along the lines of a place for everything. Now I prefer everything in every place.
I wanted to live in a pristine white house with only one thing in every room: one dress in the closet, one book on the shelf, one chair at the window. But then I realized that wouldn’t represent the magnificent mess I’ve made out of my life. My office is stacked with all plays I’ve written, so many theatre programs commemorating performances, evidence of cats loved and lost, lives lived and begun again, and again, and again, from scratch.
I was slipping a bit this week in my resolve to revel. I came home one day after rehearsal and vacuumed before I even opened the wine. I washed the dishes in the sink while there were at least FIVE other clean plates in the cupboard, crying out to be used.
This is not a romantic whimsical mess. This is not a bouquet of dried flowers languidly lounging across an open book of poetry. There ARE dried flowers, but they are the plants I forgot to water. There IS an open book of poetry, many many open books, happy to be picked up on a whim, happy to be laid back down and forgotten about until another time.
There are two cats involved who generate their own universe of fur, hairballs, kitty litter and random hork matter. I do accept it is my lot to be their personal maid, but I draw the line at becoming a hostage to dust bunnies.
Usually when in a rehearsal process, the day off is thought of as the time to ‘catch up’. The precious hours spent tackling all the dreary things, catching up with them as if we are in a race and the dirty laundry will reach the finish line before me. If my dirty laundry reaches the finish line ahead of me I hope it will send back a limo with some champagne.
What will people think, is what I used to think. What will my personal untidiness look like when seen through outside eyes?
I paid $8.99 for a cutlery drawer organizer because I thought it was the key to something. It has cutlery shaped outlines in it, with forks meant to fit in the fork shaped space, the spoons in the spoon shaped space, and so on. No square pegs in round holes.
Will my house look like an alien landscape, to be deciphered with archeological explorations? Or will the works of it be loaded into boxes and bags and carted off to another finish line?
These are the things I’m pondering today, just having tripped over the whipper snipper in the dining room next to the folded stack of towels which fit so nicely on the bookshelf.
Also, for sale: one cutlery organizer. Like new.