Clean-up In Apt. 5

My toilet is so clean you could actually eat out of it. I swear. Come over. I’ll hook you up with some Ramen or something.

But seriously. This weekend, I found some time between hangovers and driving out to East Hampton in craptastic weather to do some much-needed cleaning in the apartment.

Not only was it dirty, but there were the obvious psychological implications associated with cleaning after a relationship falls apart. I’d actually swept through the living room after the first week, completely rearranging that into something that didn’t resemble an unholy cross between Hoarders and a college dorm room. I came really close to hanging the flat-screen on the wall out of some misdirected spite but I didn’t like the thought of the wires running down the wall to wherever I’d put the Xbox, Wii and cable box. I liked even less the thought of the TV pulling out of the wall and crashing to the floor thanks to my slapdash handywork.

But I hadn’t touched the bathroom, the kitchen or that one corner in the bedroom. And my friend Drew is coming up to visit this weekend. Wouldn’t want him showing up and calling me Howard Hughes or anything.

The bathroom wasn’t awful. It had just been awhile. The kitchen was a bit messy but, worse, required some reorganizing. It’s the reorganizing that kills me and it’s one of the reason’s I’d put off “the corner.”

Anyone who’s shared a 500-square-foot apartment with someone has a corner (or two … or three). Out in “Real America,” families in houses with multiple rooms usually, at some point, end up with a “junk room,” also known as “the garage.” Not so in a really tiny Brooklyn 1-bedroom. But you end up with this random collection of crap that doesn’t fit in the closets or drawers or filing cabinets. It’s not enough to justify a storage unit, but it needs to go somewhere.

So you pick a corner, preferably one out of the line of site of potential guests. Things accumulate. And so does dust — and not just dust, but often black grimy city dust. That had to go.

Of course, this sort of thing is much easier when one person is involved. I don’t do cleaning with other people in the house. Talking to my friend Sasha this weekend, she remembered a time I was living with her and she’d gone away one weekend and came back to find the apartment gleaming (now THAT place was an industrial waste zone before I got started). I should have started on that task earlier but didn’t. When it comes to cooking and cleaning, I don’t play well with others. I judge too much. Also, I throw things away.

I filled up two huge black garbage bags yesterday cleaning out the kitchen, the bathroom and the corner.

You can imagine how well that would have gone over with someone who froze half a cup of leftover white rice and saved plastic bags to the point that I could have gotten a helium tank and pulled an “Up” with the entire apartment building.

I’m not done. Life intervened. And finding birthday cards and gifts — all of them filled with smiles and happy professions of eternal love — have a way of making you want to put down the Swiffer and run to the closest bar.

But I made a bit of progress. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have strangers over. They might not be able to eat off the kitchen floor (I magic-erased the stove, but the floor’s still grody). But, for now, they could eat out of the toilet. It’s THAT clean.

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3 responses to “Clean-up In Apt. 5

  1. Just finished The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival…enjoyed it immensely…my kind of book! Please be writing a sequel!!!

  2. Michele Lindsay

    I can’t believe you’re not flooded with request for speaking engagments, Book-TV, cooking shows not to mention a much anticipated sequel. Maybe you are -I don’t watch all that much TV. I love to read but if I’m not hooked by page 5, I’m done. I was hooked, lined, and sinkered (sic)!! Please, please write another.

  3. The magic eraser is a gift from the gods!! I love those things!

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