Friday, May 20, 2011

The meaning of cleaning

The night before the morning after, which is to say last night and this morning, I had been chatting with L. on Facebook about the general cleanliness of the house. "Don't panic!" she said. "Is there a path?" It was obviously a rather misguided question: for one thing, brooms are able to make excellent paths. For another, I was going to do all the cleaning up the morning after the night before.

Of course, the cats ably assisted with the clean up by a) depositing several poos in the study, and b) leaving a defunct pigeon in the middle of the loungeroom floor. I dealt with the poos by scraping them up, as they appeared, over the course of several days, wrinkling my nose, and holding the bag out before me as I walked to the bin outside. The pigeon was dealt with, similarly, by me stumbling out of bed bleary-eyed and woozy, exclaiming loudly on seeing it lying on the loungeroom floor, putting it in a bag and taking it to some random location outside and then forgetting all about it. I then retired back to the bed to consider matters more thoroughly, with my eyes shut.

Amidst all this hustle and bustle I do vaguely recall one or two other things about the cleaning up. I filled the sink full of hot water and chucked all the dishes in. (Can't remember what happened to them after that though). Various papers and pens and other things were taken up from arbitrary locations and placed away in other arbitrary locations, or sometimes squirreled away for safe keeping under certain arbitrary objects that I had previously been arbitrarily sleeping in.

Harriet contributed to the proceedings by leaping all over the couch and leering off into space like a maniac.

Oh, and, at some arbitrary point I stopped, locked everything up, and wandered off to the catch the bus to the airport where I would meet the Baron.

After my half-hearted effort at cleaning up, there are one or two conclusions I can draw:

1) The more you clean things up, the more you notice smaller things that also need cleaning up, which lead to even smaller things that you might perhaps clean up if you have the patience to.

2) In order to keep up with the cleaning up, you have to effectively do it all the time. In fact you have to do the cleaning up more than all of the time, which is difficult, and somewhat inconvenient.

Oh, and also I would make this observation: what a lot of dust there is in the world. It makes you wonder what the point of all that dust is, doesn't it? Just floating around the house, slowly forming in great grey drifts and gusts, until eventually every person's home fills up with titanic dust dunes, and becomes like the Sahara. Except more grey. And with more mites. It should be due to happen any day now...

Representative cat on couch, not, however, leering like a maniac. (Photo via the Baron)

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