A lifetime ago, I lived just outside Boston in an old triple-decker with new paint and a tidy little yard. The landlord and lady were Irish, and I highly suspect I got the place because of my red hair and freckles.
Once a month, Siobhan would take out a bucket and a ton of bleach and clean everything to a cinder.
“Cheers, Jennifer,” she’d say. “I’ve got the PMS. If it isn’t moving, it’s going to get bleached.”
At which point, I would head for the back deck where it was safe. I have sensitive skin, you know.
Anyway, I’ve done so much cleaning in the past two days that I’m just not sure that I’ll ever get the smell of bleach out of my nostrils. Yesterday, I went over to the house of Funke and cleaned the shit out of her apartment. I started with the bathroom, which might not have been cleaned since she and her roomies arrived in December.
Halfway through, dripping with sweat and standing on a folding chair, the better to reach the top of the shower stall with my sponge, I felt someone watching me and realized that Sue’s roommate Tom was staring at me. Important info: Tom probably has Asperger’s Syndrome and is one of the more hilarious people I’ve ever met in my life. For example, he once claimed that he was going to make himself a business card that said: T.J. McG—–, Escaped Rapist. And pass it out to girls in bars.
Today, however, he contented himself with reaching over and turning on the shower while I was cleaning. Just a little.
I cleaned for about two or three hours and then came home and collapsed. Today, I got home from work and realized that my own place was a pit. The cobbler’s wife goes barefoot, etc. Anyway, supposedly a boy is cooking me dinner on Thursday – I know! – so I thought I better make the place presentable.
Also, um, I was afraid my bathtub might be breeding clones, and I really do not want to wake up some morning to find a differently abled, one-eyed version of me sitting at my breakfast bar, drinking coffee and saying, “Steve! I wan’ pizza. I wan’ pizza, Steve.”
FYI, I’ve never even seen that movie. My sister has, though. And we like to quote it to my brother-in-law, who is named Steve.
I am so high on bleach fumes right now. Send help.