Monthly Archives: August 2015

It’s Never Clean Enough

I would like to take a moment to share my woes of being a “maintainer of kitchens”. Well, the woes of cleaning after a long break that is.

 

(Dear Boss, if you happen to come across this little moment of open expression… Eh, just remember who’s writing it and I think you’ll agree.)

 

Was it Macbeth’s wife that said, “Out damn spot”?

 

I feel like I truly understand those words now. Maybe not in her sense but to that degree of losing my fucking mind.

 

It starts with wiping off the stainless steel prep tables at work. At first, all you wish to do is create a workable surface; sanitize the station. However, there’s that pesky little reminder that these surfaces went untouched all summer. (It’s at a school you see… college… no summer classes… yet.) If I clean the top I have to clean the shelf underneath but if I do that then I have to clean every cutting board, utensil, knife case, and stand mixer that goes with it. It is at this very moment, while cleaning the bottom shelf, I can see up-close and personal just how disgusting the floor is but I can’t do that just yet because I need to wipe down the stoves. As I’m wiping down the stoves I see how nasty the shelves are that hold every dish to be used in the kitchen. Those dishes must be washed, I say but in order for them to go back on the shelf the entire shelving area needs to be sanitized. (Yes, this is exactly how my attention wanders.)

 

What about the dishwasher?

 

Oh no… I have to clean the dishwasher before I can wash the dishes after I sanitize the shelves, which I noticed while cleaning the stoves after I wiped down the tables…

 

And the fridges…

 

I can’t clean the fridges without removing every shelf and sanitizing each and every little corner.

 

But wait…

 

The rolling rack of oversized cans of beans that no one ever asked for has grease on every inch of it… And then I look down again.

 

The floor… that fucking floor…

 

There’s a plethora of dried up carcasses of what used to be cockroaches covering its surface and I notice they’re staring at me with their deathly eyes; laughing at how they made themselves “at home” before deciding to stop living at that very spot. I’m reminded of how revolting those little bastards are and it makes me wipe down the tables again. Now, hold on, before I can do that…

 

HOLY SHIT THERE’S A FUCKING SPIDER ON THE GOD DAMN WALL!

 

It’s not one of the little ones either. It’s one of those Sun Spiders that look like they’ve been beaten with an ugly stick before being sent out into the world. This is what my nightmares feel like. I can’t deal with this shit. I start to notice curled up remnants EVERYWHERE. In the corners… under tables… next to the toilet in the bathroom…

 

My bladder creates a dam and my colon swells itself shut.

 

Now I’m looking at the walls. This building is never clean enough. They’ve been crawling all over these walls, I realize. I look down into the sink and find one belly-up, one of its legs extended slightly above the rest as if to give me the middle finger. I loathe you little sideshow freaks.

 

Great… Now I’m scrubbing the sink.

 

While getting a trash bag to dump the little victims into their mass grave I notice the state of the trashcan’s interior. Somehow I forget the moment when I end up shoulder deep in the smelly plastic container. It’s dark in here… but at least I’m alone.

 

After washing my hands I notice the faucet is smudged… And the soap dispenser… As well as the towel dispenser.

 

And I think I’m finished…

 

The last dish is going to it’s home when I turn around to find a brand new, grimy little spot right on the edge of the prep table. I hang my head, exhaling with much exhaustion, and remember that I haven’t done the floors yet. I meander my way to the mop sink to find my lovely mop bucket on its wheels with a slight bit of water in it. Apparently, this is the site of the spider’s pool party and I see that there were some casualties. The floors can wait.

 

When all is accomplished and the day is through, I’m left with a dire need to bathe. After finally getting home, I rest my palms on the sink in the bathroom and allow my face to drop. My eyes become fixated on the surface and I think to myself…

 

I need to clean this place…

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Late Night Writing

(A repost after a brief moment of hatred. Being a writer allows me moments of distaste in my own work. Yes, Dad. Maybe you were right.)

 

Step 1: Describe your mood (don’t leave anything out)

 

Honestly, I’m a bit anxious… and I have been for a ridiculously long time with no particular reasoning. It’s followed by a dash of sadness in a pool of exhaustion.

 

Step 2: Describe the motivating factor for said mood

 

The motivating factor in any version of anxiety is fear. Why? Well, if there was nothing to fear then there would not be a need to worry.

 

Step 3: Realization

 

Fear can cause us to do things that we wouldn’t normally do. If you have enough fear in your life it begins to become a normal personality function. Having an overload of fear will eventually erode a normal thought process to cause unrealistic expectations of the worst possible outcome for everyday routines. In other words, you will forget what it means to enjoy the fact that you are alive at this very moment. For a writer, you forget the joy of self-expression.

 

Step 4: Identify the problem

 

I’m too anxious for my own good.

 

Step 5: Identify the solution

 

Stop fucking worrying about every little meaningless thing. (Yes, everything.)

 

Step 6: Utilize your solution

 

Easier said than fucking done…

 

Living with anxiety is like stabbing yourself, over and over again, with tiny needles all over your body. You may never know where the next one will be and it may not even hurt that much but it is the build up to the point of skin contact that is slowly killing you. Anxiety is painful in the subtlest of ways.

 

And the ramifications of trying to ignore it are even worse. So…

 

Step 7: Re-identify the problem and create a personalized solution

 

The real problem is not always the easiest answer. I have anxiety. I have enough anxiety to spare some for profit that would turn me into a billionaire who is riddled with anxiety. (I’m not even sure if that makes sense but that’s the point of anxiety. It never will.) Having anxiety is not my real problem; trying to avoid it is. If I ignore what is a dominating personality trait, I will begin to lose who I really am. The number one reason for unhappiness is denying who we are. Do I declare to the world that I live in a bubble of anxious thoughts so overwhelming that I fear everything and everyone around me including myself? I wouldn’t say so (but I guess I just did). Identifying that I am avoiding my problem is my true problem… I think. The solution is as simple as this: stop fighting myself and allow those moments to wither their way out of my system. I cannot deny them access but I can deny them control.

 

What is my point for writing all of this down? Nothing really. Isn’t this a form of therapy? Not every thought can be a moment of philosophical genius. (I know. This is very unlike me. Isn’t it?) I guess if there was any point it would be that even though I can hide behind the safety of a computer screen to you, there is still a level of humanity in everything I write down. My thoughts can be shared because I allow them to (even though I am anxious about how you perceive them). This does not make them reasonable, factual, or even logical but it does mean that you can comprehend them on some basic level. What you choose to take from it is for you and only you. No one else in the entire world can tell you how to think. It is the one thing that we have that not a single soul out there can expect you to hand over willingly. That’s an amazing thought, isn’t it? The greatest gift that we have is the gift of self-expression. When we offer this out we meet people and are thus given the opportunity to comprehend expression from others. In this instance, we are sharing a moment because we both started with Step 1. This is myself telling myself to write about myself in the hopes of learning about… myself as well as creating an open market for anyone to begin to think. (When you can’t figure out where to begin writing, sometimes it’s good to start with how you feel.) It’s an exercise in expression on my side of the screen and an exercise in comprehension on your side. Telling you I have anxiety is a way of letting you know that, while I chose a digital medium, our time together is humanistic. I am not asking you to agree with anything that I have to say. It is my hope that you begin to realize that, while you stare at an inanimate computer screen, there is a living, breathing human being on the other side. You are only as alone as you allow yourself to be but, sometimes, company cannot be avoided.

 

 

These are not your words; they are mine. You chose to come here…

 

…and I find something beautiful about that. Let’s not waste this.