Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Masking Tape

This recently divorced man was doing a quick remodel/sale of his home. I was hired to clean it out and repaint. I hate these jobs for a variety of reasons...Cleaning out someone’s house is a lot like scraping their bowels. All the habits and patterns of their life, stick to your skin. You get home after a long sweaty day in someone else’s house and nothing short of a high pressure steam cleaning and Pentagon grade PTSD pharmaceuticals will get it off of you. Not only are you toiling in another person’s house, but the inevitable starts to happen. You automatically construct stories around what is left behind. Each object ads another chapter. At first glance the divorcee left no sign of a distressed life. When you first entered the house it was like any minute now the kids would come home from school throw their book bags under the overflowing coat rack, feed the 3 perky gold fish bubbling away under the florescent lit tank by the entrance to the kitchen and head for the pool. But, as you made your way to the back yard yourself, there was evidence to the contrary. It appeared as though no one had used that entry in a while. The sliding glass doors secured with a 2x4 jammed between the wall and the butt of the inner pane made a crunching sound as it attempted to glide over debris lodged in its tracks. Standing on the edge of the pool did not inspire thoughts of children splashing out a game of Marco Polo. On the contrary the water was a bright green and the bottom was black with decaying oak leaves. Floating off to one side was a chlorine dispenser in the shape of an alligators head, only nose and eyes clearing the pine pollen morass that choked the waters surface. Something told me there was no more chlorine in that dispenser. Arms tacky with carpet dander, and the living room swept of its champagne colored wall to wall, we started on the bedrooms. The first one on the left down the hall was obviously the children’s. The walls were the color of clouds that might gather around the turrets of Cinderella’s castle at sunset. There were crayon drawings at bunk bed level and what looked to be a booger collection placed staccato, like musical notes in one corner. I remember thinking how small the rooms were and how did they ever manage to sell these little rooms as bedrooms, especially seeing how the thin aluminum framed windows started up so high from the floor, defensive like a military pill box, only allowing light in by being bounced from the plaster, mop textured ceilings. Just three steps and I was on to the next room. This room was identical in shape to the pink one, only it was blue, blue every where. The walls were navy with a click or two of black mixed in. The carpet almost the same color as the walls except for places where it looked like bleach had been spilled. There propped against a lone lazy boy recliner in the center of the room was a shot gun. The stories began to race, but I instinctively gave them no endings. Instead I looked for more details in hopes of finding a brighter denouement. A TV. VCR combo, the size of a mans head held the recliner in its reflection. Black video tapes lay like spent cartridges in no particular pattern around the dresser that held the TV at shoulder height. I kept moving to keep the stories from catching up. I turned to the closet and saw a large garbage bag. I gathered its mouth and lifted it. The bag was brimming with more tapes. It was a solid 8 hrs. of moving this persons life around and setting to the curb. It was time to go home. I tied the giant bag of porn in a knot placed it on the floor and walked out of the divorcees 3 bedroom ranch for good. As I was pulling around the cul de sac to leave, I remembered, gold fish actually live longer the less you feed them.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I like that when i click on it, i'm immediately taken to an excited naked chubby man.

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St. Augustine, Florida, United States
I spill ink ,it collects here.