I hate cleaning. But I also hate messiness. This often leaves me in a state of perpetual, low-level discomfort as I head downstairs to my computer, knowing that there are still boxes by my desk that haven’t been opened since we moved in to the house three years ago. I imagine them talking to me in ghostly, papery voices as I write:
“Why hast thou forgotten our existence? There is treasure within us. Come, release us from our misery, that we might be granted eternal peace in the recycling continuum of the greater Hamilton area!”
Following on from things that I found in my garage, I couldn’t help but list some of the items that I pulled out of these oddly Shakespearean containers.
- A picture of me on my 10th birthday. “Cute?” I suppose. But “lame” would be much more accurate, along with “nerdy,” “weird,” and “awkward.” I’m wearing a track suit that belong on a 5-year-old and my presents (which I am clearly truly happy about) are a boxed set of Farley Mowat novels and a Best of Kenny Rogers cassette. What child doesn’t love reading carefully constructed prose about the Canadian wilderness while listening to “The Gambler?”
- 3 combat knives that I didn’t even know that I owned. This was a useful find. I still haven’t hidden a knife in every room of the house, so these ones will cover the guest bathroom (in the toilet tank), the linen closet (inside the green towel (Note to self: tell Erin not to use the green towel)), and the crawlspace under the stairs.
- 2 copies of the manuscript from the book I wrote when I was 17. Flipping through it, it is hard for me to use the word “crap” strongly enough, although it might work if I wrote it like this: CRAP. That’s right, it’s so bad that when I call it crap I have to use all caps, bold, underline, and italic. That’s a quadruple-whammy of emphasis for you right there.
- 18 boxes of 49 #10 envelopes. You see, Staples sells these envelopes in boxes of 50, and Erin and I always go through the same routine when we need one. “Hey, do we have any envelopes?” “I’m pretty sure we do. Let me go check downstairs.” “Anything?” “Nope, looks like we used them all. I’ll just buy some more when I’m out.” Somehow, these nearly-full-strength boxes of envelopes had managed to congregate in roughly the same area. By the time that I got to them, they had printed a stack of leaflets and seemed ready to distribute them to the rest of the abandoned stationary in an attempt to start an uprising. Obviously I couldn’t allow that kind of thing to happen, so I took 5 envelopes at random from each box, sealed them shut so they couldn’t scream, stuffed them in a large manila parcel, and set in on fire while the rest of them watched. That should keep everything settled down there for a while.