{Clean As Rain}


8.30.99

Soundtrack -- The Song of the Sun, from Voyager, Bieito Romero/Mike Oldfield

Clean As Rain
Back to more upbeat music now as the pendulum swings and the mood lifts and once again magic is done and mircales worked and things get done.

Let's see ... how to begin? The apartment is so close to spick and span now that I keep turning around to marvel at it. It's still not perfect, no no no, but it's so much better than it was that that hardly matters whatsoever.

I finally got up the energy, the verve, the motivation to turn myself into a human whirlwind and get done all the things that needed to get done around the house.

The floors have been mopped, the toilets scrubbed, one of the two sinks has been cleaned last to sparkling off-white, the dishes put away and in some cases reorganized.

It is now possible to walk a straight path from the stove to the fridge and out into the dinette. The cat food dispensers have been removed from the kitchen and tucked into a corner of the dinette where they will no longer be tripped upon in the middle of the night. The piles of boxes hidden away in closets, tucked under the table or simply dumped behind the door in the front hall have been bagged and trashed. Au revoir amazon.com boxes.

I've unpacked some of the things I brought back from my parents' house and made good use of them in the bathroom. A lined basket has been filled with my hair doo-dads that were previously wandering all over the living room, bedroom and study. Cotton balls and Q-tips share space in a decorated box from the Body Shop that once contained a gift of shampoo and bubble bath. All of a sudden the bathroom smells like a garden instead of cat food and cat litter.

Two months' worth of laundry have been sorted, folded and put away. Several large objects that were occupying the floor space in the bedroom closet have been given permanent homes, such that one can now walk into the walk-in closet and find socks in the morning.

The dining room table has resurfaced after intensive excavation this morning. Gone are the piles of magazines, assorted junk mail, more amazon.com boxes and random things like my plane ticket home from Chicago that dates last to April when I went out there to take ColdFusion classes and meet Gabby by the wayside.

And to top it all off, that hurricane thingie seems to be whipping up quite a breeze. Whatever the cause, a brisk wind has picked up and has very handily chased the humidity, the heat and the majority of the summer stench far far away. It's brisk but warm out -- my favorite kind of weather -- so all the windows have been thrown open to catch the fresh air and chase the mustiness of summer from the nooks and crannies of the apartment. Ahh ... to breathe free at last.

I can't even begin to express how nice it is to curl up in my bed and look out over an organized expanse of bedroom. A floor clear of dirty and clean clothes. The dressers cleared of the debris of daily life, the desk tidied up and ready for another spate of check-writing, journal-entry making and other assorted writerly tasks.

It makes it easier to sleep at night.

Cats
In the meantime, Pearl and Mephisto have been making friends. Phishy can't seem to stay away -- he's fascinated by the slender white kitty, so different from himself and his siblings. When I come home and head for the bedroom to get changed, he trots along with me, mao-ing eagerly and darts between my legs to get in, before I can keep him out. She waits there just around the corner, peering carefully around the edge of the armoire, her white fur the perfect camouflage against the off-white carpet and white furniture.

They touch noses and circle each other and then the games begin. Chase-tail, chase-tail from one end of the room to the other. He on top of the desk and dangling his tail town, she batting from below. She sitting on the bed, reaching down to bap him from above, he rolling over on his back to bat back with gently playful paws.

It does a body good to see them amusing themselves so much as they get to know each other better. Pearl still hisses and growls when Phish gets too close, but they're well on the way to friendly. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other cats.

Tiger, is petrified and fascinated all at once. He too wants to come in and investigate, but when Pearl bristles defensively, he whimpers and cringes into a small flat patch of fur on the floor or turns tail and runs. Sasha has barely even dared set foot in the room, sniffing warily and looking confused -- quite a contrast to her earlier role as leader of the pack when she jumped over the foot-high board that kept her in the closet at the tender age of three weeks.

And Shara ... well Shara is Not Pleased. Shara is the Queen of the roost and Will Not Have Another Cat In The House. She's made this abundantly clear every time I've let her in to meet n' greet with Pearl. The first time, with no ifs ands or buts, Shara pounced her and started to pummel Pearl to bits and had to be carried out bodily, wrapped in a quilt, spitting and hissing the whole way.

The second time, she was slightly more hesitant, but more of same, necessitating quilt and much scritching to relieve her nerves. This time around, they actually sat and stared at each other for a while and Shara took the trouble to sniff out the room. Pearl had started to relax and wasn't paying attention, distracted by Mephisto's tail, when Shara went into aggressive mode, and with a screaming yowl chased her across the bed. Pearl hid in the space between the bed and the nightstand while Shara clawed at her from above and the quilt went into service as restraint again.

Poor Pearl was skittish for about a half hour afterwards, but eventually settled back down, stopped hissing at Mephisto and eventually the two of them resumed their games.

However, it just underscores the fact that we need to find a home for Pearl -- the sooner, the better. She's a sweet little kitty, and obviously not averse to being friendly to other cats, provided she doesn't get pounded upon. She deserves a loving home where she can be queen of the roost after all the hardships she's been through.

Folks & Money
Two lingering worries: moola and parents.

On the money front -- the situation is bad. It's going to be another tight month -- mostly because of the flat-tire, snapped-engine-mounts fiasco, but also because I treated myself to two dresses from Land's End. I just wanted to buy myself something pretty that was comfy and I looked nice in, since at this time I have one dress that I can fit into to go out to dinner at a nice restaurant or, goodness forbid, I'm invited somewhere with a dress code.

But I spent too much money in the process and that was very very stupid of me. I had a mild spazz attack about the whole thing this morning upon a brief perusal of the bills. But I hadn't balanced the checkbook yet, nor taken into account the fact that the rent has already been deducted by the banks' automatic payment service.

Hence, while yes, money is going to be tight again, it's not as bad as it seemed this morning when I was thinking we were going to be eating nothing but canned soup leftover from last winter for the next few weeks.

The other worry: I haven't spoken to my folks since we went to get my stuff, and the phone number that they've left is not in service. Hence, neither I, nor my brothers have had a conversation with them for at least a week. Ted says they are in their little apartment, but I have otherwise, no clue where they are or how they are doing post-move.

All I can know is that they are no longer in our house and that a family of strangers now occupies that space.

It's easier not to think about that at all. Better to concentrate on the Ikea catalogue and try to figure out ways that we could, theoretically remodel the kitchen in the condo for under $1000. Though that activity is rather pointless as well, since we could be anywhere between here and New York or San Francisco, this time next year.

Go figure. Life just keeps on at the same merry pace, with all its changes and small glories.

Thank goodness it's almost autumn though ... thank goodness at least for that.

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