I should be cleaning today.
No, you don’t need to tell me I deserve a day off, because that’s not really true. I should be cleaning today. It’s one of those things I can find a million excuses to avoid. When I’m finishing a book, I don’t have time to clean. When I’m editing – oh my goodness, who has time to clean? When I’m sewing, oops, I forgot to clean. When I feel old and decrepit, I have no energy to clean.
Consequently … I feel a bit like a nineteen year old stereotypical college boy in his first apartment.
I love telling stories on my brother. Because this is not who he is any longer … so far from it. It’s amazing what a gaining a wife and children will do to a fellow.
He went off to Kansas City to college, absolutely thrilled to be far from home. He finally invited me to come visit him for a weekend. We were going to play some Dungeons and Dragons (we were those heathen minister’s kids), and I would meet his buddies. It was going to be great.
I knew one of his buddies from home. He was there learning to be a mechanic. Jim was in computer science and I have no memory of their third roommate. The weekend went by in a fuzzy flash and maybe someday I’ll tell you about the rest of this story. Because … partying and drunkenness might have been seriously involved. I was old enough to know better, but still easily influenced by my younger brother.
Anyway … back to cleanliness.
That first evening, I walked into an apartment where at least two boys (seriously, was there a third roommate here?) who had just left home for the first time resided and were living the life. I got the nickle tour.
A carburetor on the kitchen floor. Well, Aaron was working on a project for school. I could just about accept that, but seriously? The kitchen? They’d washed the dishes and otherwise the kitchen was pretty clean. Then, I went into the bathroom … and died. Neither the toilet nor the shower had seen cleaning solutions since they’d moved in. No matter how much I needed to use that room, I walked back out and asked for 409, Comet … anything.
They had to go to the store (insert gales of laughter here).
I finally scrubbed both to acceptable usefulness and we went on to have a great weekend. My cleaning made the next part of the weekend much easier … just saying.
You know, it just occurred to me those years offered my first editing job for my brother. He didn’t write too many letters – ever, but we exchanged a few missives. I red-penned one of his worst and sent it back to him. I might have killed his desire for writing letter, but at least I didn’t destroy his desire to write.
If you haven’t checked out his science fiction and fantasy novels, there are plenty of good stories there to entertain you while you wait for the next Bellingwood book.
We still play Dungeons and Dragons and he still likes to watch me get drunk. Nothing has changed, except for the fact that he lives in a nicely cleaned home and I don’t have to clean toilets before I use them. I’d like to think that he grew up a lot, but it might have something to do with the fact that he married a woman who insists on a certain level of cleanliness in the bathroom.
Oh, and look at that, I just avoided cleaning … again!