It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Friday, October 05, 2007

Closets and Closed Off Rooms

Everyhome has a dirty closet. You know what I mean... the place where you stash things before other people come over. Sometimes it can get out of hand and you begin to use the room outside the closet and it gets full of crap. The door to this room stays closed, but every once in a while you go inside and shudder, with the resolve to get at it tomorrow. We have such a room. And it became more than a job; it became a nightmare.
Today I resolved to get at it. I was sober, so I gathered up a garbage bag and a bunch of boxes and opened the door, and then the windows. Where to start? I started with the obvious garbage. You know, stuff that stands out like: candy wrappers, used ear buds, empty packaging and the assortment of arms, legs...from forgotten gifts and happy meal inserts. Six small shopping bags later, I separated the clothing from the pile, unrecognisable from washed stuff and dirty stuff. Every time I sorted a layer off the top I found something I had been looking for and set it aside.
But, I also found some stuff that concerned me. There were: ball bearings, pins, sewing needles, 2 retractable knives, four pairs of scissors, etc. I thought about the children and others who might have ventured into that room and hurt themselves. I knew though, that the stuff had been put there to keep it away from loved ones. I sorted through unopened mail, reports, pencils and pens, cookbooks, etc. At the last... with most of the stuff sorted and stuffed into the garbage I came across a single phillips screw about an inch long, lying under the bed and so I put it in a container with all the other odd stuff.
Feeling pretty good about this accomplishment I picked up the clothing and put it in the wash house and started the washer. I thought I would open a window to let in some fresh air and noticed that the latch was loose. Upon close inspection I discovered one of the screws had let loose and then I remembered the screw I had come across. I had to get to the bottom of the jar, but I found it and got a screwdriver to set it. The latch works good now.
Another thing that happened was that at the beginning of the cleanup I came across one of my grandson's books. This is a book of maps and stuff made up of puzzles and it was open. Every once in a while through today's exercise I would find a piece and it became the fun part about today to find the place where it was missing and fit it in. By the end of the day I had the book complete except for three pieces.
I am going to continue to look for those missing pieces and put the puzzle together. Who knows, they may be in another room or missplaced somewhere else in the house. It is not particularly important to complete the puzzle though, perhaps I'll just make some and fill in the blanks.

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