Holden is not too kind to his suite mate, Ackley, at the beginning of Catcher. Of course, Ackle y gives him plenty of ammunition for his attacks. Ackley's personal hygiene leaves a great deal to be desired, and Ackley's dorm room reflects this fact. As Holden says, the room "stinks."
Fridays are my cleaning days. I vacuum. I sweep. I mop. I clean the bathroom. I empty the garbage. I dust everything. By the time I'm done, the whole house smells, for a few hours, at least, like lemon and Lysol. I love sitting on my couch after I'm done, seeing everything in its place. Having a twelve-year-old daughter and four-year-old son, I know this moment of order will be brief. However, I revel in it while it lasts.
My wife thinks I'm a little bit of a fanatic about my Friday routine. She may be right. I cannot really relax on a Friday night unless the cleaning is done. After a week of chaos and running, I need a few quiet minutes when I can believe that the universe is running properly, all the planets aligned and singing. Only a few minutes. That's all I ask.
Well, that and a fairy tale.
Once upon a time, a man named Hearst lived in a castle by the ocean. Hearst insisted his castle be cleaned, top to bottom, every day by his servants. He drove everyone crazy, screaming at the top of his lungs if he found one single water spot on his crystal wine glasses. His bed linens were washed every morning. His socks and underwear were hand laundered in the ocean tides every night.
Hearst believed he could control the universe by keeping it dusted, mopped, and washed. "If I don't do this," he often said to his butler, Yancy, "fall won't follow summer, and winter won't come after fall."
Yancy merely nodded his head.
One morning, Hearst found a mouse in his bathroom. He jumped onto the toilet and began screaming. He screamed and screamed. None of his servants came to check on him. They were too busy cleaning. Yancy was in the village, replenishing the castle's supply of lemon Pledge.
Hearst had a heart attack in the bathroom. Yancy found his body later that morning. Yancy couldn't believe his eyes. Hearst had soiled himself before he died.
Moral of the tale: shit happens.
And Saint Marty lived happily every after.
|I Pledge allegiance...|