The leaves are starting to turn. There is football on television. Grey Jay has gone home. The rug rats are back in school. There is even a chill in the air.
The dilemma is that I have a guest coming over to the house. That is not the problem. The dilemma is should I clean or not?
I’m not talking about just sweeping some dust bunnies that are older than most grandchildren under the couch or swipe down the spider webs of my nightly friends or wipe down the splatters of grease and toothpaste that is part of my daily existence, but welcome someone into this environment that I’ve adapted to. Though the surroundings are not too alarming but the construction look may put off those who are used to plush carpets and soft pillows.
Now cleaning is not my forte, but I have all the appliances, potions, pads and powders to accomplish the goal. I have plenty of time to “straighten up” and put on a good face, but this is the way I have been living for the past few years. It is not Animal House but it is rough around the edges. Maybe I am more tolerant of things that would put other people off; maybe my lack of allergies or immunities to spider bites allows me to survive on this day-to-day basic simple life or maybe I’m just lazy.
I’ve had some people in this house in the past couples years, but they were all hired to tear things apart, move things around and patch things up. Luckily I had another space so they could move freely in the house and I could keep my mine peaceful while they hammered and sawed and invaded my home; a space that I had grown to feel comfortable in.
I could hire some of those “happy maids” with their mops and buckets and special concoctions to come in and swab the place down. Of course, just like the roofers, I wouldn’t be able to understand them so they could just be putting down a layer of toxic sauces that would smell good but would do me in as I slept. Maybe I should open the windows?
So now a vagabond traveler spending a summer of emotional and decisional trauma will be coming to town. He may just take his Toyota chariot and turn west to follow Route 66, but I think he is needed at home to do the wash and iron the socks. I’ll provide him with humorous stories and we can share memories as long as he can stay. I’ve contacted others but don’t have a schedule. I don’t have a plan, much to the opposite behavior of my friend, for I know that long distance travel often has layovers or unexpected delays. I’m not buying additional food or preparing on making special meals. I’m not polishing the silver or straightening the paintings to impress. I will show a few toys that might be fun to play but I think this spontaneous gathering will be more about debauchery than comparison of intellectual or monetary worth.
I think I’ll just let things the way they are. We can graze at the local watering holes and if the accommodations are not suitable, I can put him up in the local Holiday Inn.
Still the dust and dirt and spider webs will remain intact, the decrepitated old house will moan along with its occupant, and gather more character until November.