Thursday 9th June I left work early because the sudden heat wave scorching Stockholm was severely stupefying me. Also, we had left our key with pest control who needed access to the building’s every apartment in order to do battle with pharaoh ants infesting the place. I don’t trust pest control. I trust no one.
Thus, I hurried home to check for theft and sabotage, but also with an ambitious plan to clean the entire apartment.
All was in order, no sign of wrongdoing. An Emma F had even left a receipt.
There was however darkness over the horizon – a massive cloud of smoke was rising from a building nearby. Fire, a tragedy in the making. Fire trucks, ambulances and police; sirens screeching – I watched in horror, wiped the sweat from my forehead, turned around, faced the chaos that was my home and knew that all is relative. This, my residency, was the REAL tragedy, and it needed sorting.
I was standing in the kitchen. A week’s worth of dishes were swimming in a pool of slime. A wasp queen was inspecting the open cabinets, scouting for a suitable location to build her colony.
From my vantage point I could see out into the hallway where the training mat was still on the floor, placed there the day before with the ambition to do my stomach crunches but still not used. Above it, on my brother’s book shelf I had placed his trimmer. Once again the time had come to rid myself of my sole male attribute – my red beard.
I got started. I guided the wasp out the window while trying to convince her that the best future for her offspring was certainly to be found elsewhere.
Closing cabinet doors, putting not soiled things back in their proper place, I found a way to reach the sink. I did those dishes with a determination which I’m sure would have made even my parents proud. I wiped all surfaces with a new clean rag.
Music – LCD Soundsystem.
The hallway now. Vacuum cleaner just sitting there.
Clothes from the laundry room, still in a bag, waiting to be put back in the closet, I took care of it. Got this area of the flat presentable in no time at all.
The time had come for my bedroom, and this is where my memory becomes blurred. I remember navigating my foot over the threshold and between the first stacks of paperwork, but after that there are only faint patches of light and dark… I think I was listening to Clint Mansell’s Black Swan O.S.T… I remember at one point sharing with the dust bunnies a free spot on the floor under the computer desk, reading a passage out of Melville’s Moby Dick…
Things become clear first when I was sitting in the kitchen again, enjoying a can of A&W Root Beer. I felt good about myself, romantically comparing my day with a lifetime – you’re flung into a world of crap, and it’s up to you to to the best of your abilities tidy up and find your own personal Root Beer paradise.
I had done it. I had cleaned the entire apartment.
The best part of the whole exercise was that I did it all in the nude; dick swinging with every move, testicles dangling like two huge pomegranates in awkwardly connected punching bags, while I was also inevitably pimping the apartment with a few colorful carrot-tasting pubic hairs. It was fantastically spectacular, and good fun too.