ben vandgrift · on living the dream

That's When The Wheels Came Off

Every other week, two nice hispanic ladies drop by my house at an obscene hour in the morning with a carful of cleaning equipment. If this seems extravagant for someone on my budget, recognize that they knock this out in 70-80 minutes and do so for $65. Doing the same job myself would take me most of a day. It saves me time, and I can't think of a more precious commodity. They get in, get out, and I don't have to take my eyes or ears off my pairing station.

While I can only speak for myself, it is my sincere belief that one's place clearly reflects one's mind. As a single guy living alone this is especially true, since there no one's psyche contributes its detritus to litter my shelves and walls. The bookshelves house my knowledge, the trinkets reflect my interests, the art demonstrates my (perhaps, lack of) tastes, the posters and photos display the most poignant of my memories. The furniture evidences a preference for comfort over appearance, the electronics express a fondness for leisure, and the instruments (and their quality and variety) denote a certain breadth of focus, simultaneously criticizing my lack of depth in some areas.

When I focus my headspace and clear it of distractions, the place begins to consequently shape up. As my mind becomes more fractured and disorganized, the house demonstrates this as well. What I'm coming to understand however, is that this street moves in both directions. If I'm shaken and need to clear my head, clearing the house starts the process.

So it's nice when someone can drop by and clear your head for you, as was the case this morning. I needed it. Life's been stressful; my wits ended last week around Tuesday. My cluttered head welcomed the brief respite Maria and the new girl provided.

I say brief with intent: estimated time between pristine and the first disaster was 52 minutes. I relate the story here so that you might chuckle along with me at my misfortune:

Mina is a young, clever cat. Being clever, she understands far too much about what's where, and how to get the things she wants. Being young, she still feels the need to participate in games of dominance and territory marking. That she is also a fastidious cat means that more steps were required to do this properly than you might imagine, especially if you're not posessed of a young, clever, and fastidious cat.

Mina knows that she is only supposed to take care of business in the litter box. So in order to pursue her instinctive drives, she had to create a litter box. She knows what the bag that contains the litter looks like. She knows that very bag was at the bottom of the stairs, and she knows how to disassemble a bag with her needle-like razor-edged claws. Given all this, she decided to-surprisingly stealthily-distribute the contents of the bag all across my freshly-cleaned floor.

Of course, now that she had a litter box, or at least litter, she could proceed to mark the downstairs as hers, and not Monster's. Understanding that as the principal cat of the house he must at least pretend to keep up the appearance of dominance, Monster decided to add his own 'contribution' to Mina's attempt at redecoration.

That was pretty much when the wheels started to come off of my day. It was definitely what crashed my lunch hour.

written: Feb 21 2012