Dear Joanie,

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I’m just not made for household work. Oh, what a curse it is to be with a fascinating and highly attractive, but penniless man. Not sure I’ll ever go that road again.
It is a tribulation, this cleaning. I decided to do some work around the bedroom, because Burke complained about “inches of dust” and dirty windows. I thought I might clean the window sills and who knows, if I had time, maybe the windows. So I got a big bucket from the garden, which I had once planned to grow plants in. These buckets seem to deteriorate with time, don’t they. It was strangely filthy, with a kind of disgusting grey jelly both on the outside and the inside. Dozens of woodlice sped off as I lifted the bucket, afraid lest the sunlight might turn them into something pretty.
I cleaned the inside, almost gagging, and then filled it up to its rim with hot water – I don’t like to bend down too much to reach in, when I start the actual work. That is such a drag. It was still disgusting on the outside, so I put it on the kitchen counter for further cleaning, balancing it precariously on the narrow ledge next to the sink.
They say everything happens for a reason, but I cannot fathom why that bucket had to fall down. Even as it went to to the ground, seemingly in slow-motion, I was in denial. I remember very clearly thinking, and meaning it: “This is not happening.” But it was, apparently.
I sat on my couch for a while, then a longer while. Ultimately I resigned myself to the fact that the filthy flood had to be dealt with. So I got a few tea towels, which weren’t remotely enough, then decided to use t shirts that were dusty anyway, and which I  decided on the spot I’d probably never wear again. I tossed the shirts on the floor at regular intervals, and hoped they would soak up the sea of slush.
Then, I head Burke at the door. I quickly gathered together the t shirts and tried to look heavily involved. “Just mopping the floor!” I said in happy sing-song tones, when he came in. He looked so happy. “That’s my girl. You’re really making headway, aren’t you?” Burke likes it when I apply myself; he’s old-fashioned, that way.
I didn’t tell him I’d actually made zero headway, apart from mopping the floor with filthy slick. It will only show once the moisture dries completely.

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