I have not written anything…N..E…thing…for weeks. Not even in my journal, where I WAS faithfully writing every morning, mostly junk, but you know, that greases the skids. That’s a phrase I use commonly to describe the concept of getting things moving. I say it, and then I feel the need to explain how it could be taken as a joke, a joke that I don’t mean by it, but the image comes to mind..well, not the image, exactly, but the image of the possible joke, because metaphor and I are good friends. And then I explain the joke that I didn’t mean, and people who are my friends laugh and get a little red in the face, and it’s just all awkward all around. Because my husband’s (potential) nickname, and the nickname of his father, was “skid.” So I’m imagining that you are getting the joke without me saying it…
Anyway, writing has been in neutral. Nothing even comes to mind. I don’t even say to myself, “Oh, that’s something to write about!” and forget.
So I have this writing class that I have been going to on Thursdays, the day I euphemistically call my “day off” –although after the first month, “off” is not a word to describe that day. I was writing, taking things to the group, listening to lovely stories and listening also to how people talk to each other about their writing, and how they critique another’s writing. It’s been interesting, not the least because most of the group is 20 years older than me, and they come from a background that is very different from mine. But I guess that’s another thing I could write about.
But I haven’t been interested in or called to write at all. One of the things I’ve pondered, on the rare occasions I even consider writing, is that I have been too thoughtful, maybe even dark. I’d like to be funny. But then I think, “I’m not really funny. Nothing funny happens to me. Even if it does, it doesn’t occur to me that it’s funny, so…” And that’s that.
Today, though, I’m wondering if I could be funny. I was sick; then I went to Florida to be with my family; then I came home and was sick…and am sick. It’s a weird combo package of weariness and queasiness. I don’t ever get sicker, and don’t eject anything that I eat, I just feel sort of bad all the time.
So here I am, on my day off (smirk) and I have two hours of class to listen to – it’s a class on Islam that my daughter bought for me, and it’s really interesting, but I’ve been, you know, sick, away and sick, so I’m behind. And I want to do a good job so my daughter is proud of me, so I’ve got some catch up to do.
But I also have a really smelly dog. She’s also had some intestinal thing for a little over a week, and there are places all over the house where she pooped or threw up. Not to mention her back side which is glued together with poop. And she’s a long haired, dread-covered dog, so all that poop hangs in dried hanks, like beef jerky drying in the sun, except not shiny or salty or in the least appetizing. My husband (Skid) had been handling the poop-in-the-night all over the bathroom floor. I was pretty pleased that I’d gotten away with none of the clean up. I even passed some in the basement, and thought, “I’ll just not say anything about that, and when he comes down to exercise, he’ll clean that up, too.” And felt pretty sneaky and proud of myself. But no. He went downstairs to exercise today, and when I went down for something, he crooked his finger, calling me over, and said, “See that? I’ve been doing all the clean up. I’d like you to do those. They are probably easy. Looks like they’ve been here a couple of days.” “SURE,” I say, brightly, and wear that frozen smile all the way upstairs.
So he leaves for work, and I do the classwork. Then I go around and spray the poop/vomit spots and let that sink in for a couple of hours. Finally I decide it’s time to behave, but when I’m back downstairs, I realize that the laundry room is really a mess, and I’d like to clean the whole thing. But before I do that, I should clean up the poop, and…wash the dog. That’s a pretty good mea culpa. So I start on the poop. It’s dried to the bone, if there was a bone in it. I take a scrub brush to it, and lay more wet paper towels on it. It’s awful. So I fill the sink up next to the washer with warm water and dog shampoo, and go to get the dog.
She knows something is up. She runs away from me if I even get within 5 feet of her. We walk and run around the house about 6 times. I then have the great idea that I will get the child gate and narrow her options down. When she sees the gate, she gives up and comes over to me. I take her downstairs and lower her gently into the water. She squeals a little, but I calm her down and gently rub the hair and her backside over and over, soothing her with my voice. I decide not to wash the whole dog, thinking that the offending part fits nicely into the sink and that’s really all that needs to happen.
I lift her out of the sink after rinsing her, and realize I’m standing in two inches of water. The washer and dryer are, too. This has never happened before. The sink drains into a hole in the floor. How does that clog up? It’s 20 years, and this has never happened before! So I dry the dog off a little and let her go. She runs upstairs immediately, like she’s chasing an ambulance, barking and spinning around when she stops moving. I feel like doing the same thing, but my feet are soaked and I don’t want to be electrocuted. I shut things off and stare. I don’t know what I imagine staring will accomplish, but here I go. After I realize it’s not accomplishing anything, and my feet are still standing in water, I move the sink a little and reach into the hole. The dark, wet hole in the ground. Who knows what’s down there? But I have a rubber glove on, so there’s at least something between me and it. I start pulling up disgusting black stuff. Is it dog hair? Hard to tell. I reach further. More stuff. But not too long, and there’s no more. The water has moved a little, but that just means I”m standing in 1 inch of water. I search the house for the plunger, and wedge myself between the sink and the wall, holding the sink on an angle so I can get the plunger over the hole. I don’t know what this will accomplish, since I don’t know what’s down that hole, but I squeeze it down a few times, and then wait. Nothing. Again, and wait. Maybe there’s some movement, but it turns out that’s just me moving the water around. I go get the last 2 ounces of drain cleaner and throw that in the hole.
Finally the water starts draining. Now I have a disgusting wet floor and all the mops and brooms were standing next to the sink and are now wet and dirty on the bottoms. I can’t use them to sweep, and I can’t use the vacuum. So I rinse them all off and hang them up this time (there was a hangar strip for them, but do we use it, no..) and go get spray bleach cleaner and wash the floor by hand, one square at a time. Finally I’ve washed my way out of that room, and decide to spray all the dog poop in the other room with the spray bleach, for good measure. (Take that!)
I come upstairs, and my dog is sitting in my seat on the couch. Luckily I’d put a blanket there, so if there’s any wet poop it’s not on the couch. I sit down next to her, and the poor little baby leans her head onto my chest and sighs. This is not typical behavior for her, so I know she’s been traumatized. So have I. I just sit with her,leaning back a little, and I sigh too.