I spent my three-day weekend cleaning and organizing shit.
Part of this was because of the “self-inspection” sent to me by our landlord, so we can renew our lease. I guess normally they’d have someone come by and do it, but instead they’re having folks take photos of all their own shit to make sure it’s not broken? I guess?
Being forced to take photos of my living space was nothing but a reminder that I’ve let it go to shit, so I avoided avoided avoided avoided. Access to tenant portal expired! Access reinstated, you have five (5) days to complete your inspection. Access expired! Rinse, repeat, for about three(3) weeks until finally the stress of not doing it was weighing on me too heavily.
The real issue was not the state of the house–it’s honestly never that bad–but the yard. LP is very resistant to getting a lawnmower because they’re expensive. And he was resistant in general to working on the lawn, I think? It was always “we need to go to Home Depot to get Yard Stuff I’m so excited about our Yard it will be the best Yard we will plant a Garden” and then another week would pass, and another, and another. I think he likes the concept of a yard much more than the act of… doing it. Which, lol. WHO DOESN’T.
But we got a weed wacker and he used it on the whole-ass yard and it still looks fuckin’ dumb but at least it’s not ONE HUNDRED FEET TALL.
After he went through it with the wacker, I spent a couple hours raking all the grass and yoinking a whooole buncha weeds. This yard is a BEAST, y’all. But holy shit it felt good to get some stuff done. To just zone out and complete a task that uses my whole body. (That was Sunday and I still hurt, but I don’t mind.)
I spent all this goddamn time and energy cleaning shit up, took the photos, and like an hour later I get the “Approved” email. Clearly it was all just a formality to get our lease re-signed. Which I knew, in theory. But was still worried this was gonna be the one thing our property management company ACTUALLY gave a shit about and I’d have to answer a hundred questions about baseboards and outlets and grass length and window sills.
Stressed myself out for so damn long over nothing, y’all. Classic Jess.
Still, most of the work I did was more for my own benefit. Compartmentalization of space is gonna be my New Thing. I’ve accidentally assigned the kitchen as my work space, simply by spending a lot of time in here. And that’s okay because there is a huge window in front of me and to my left, so I can look at our weedy yard and people walking by and birds and the silly bumblebees that thonk against the window a hundred times a day. THONK. bzzzz. THONK. bzzzz. Silly bees, thonks are for flowers!
I moved what used to be my work desk to the main bedroom, and it fits better than expected (that’s what she said 420 69 your mom etc). Hoping to move all of my “creative” stuff in there and really brand it for that purpose.
I think I’ll also hang some art? Maybe? Do something that makes it mine, rather than Me Taking Up Space in One of LP’s Rooms?
I’ve started thinking about the possibility that I will be in this house 99% of the time for another year. It seems… almost inevitable, if LP goes back to work.
I’ve had a dozen fictional conversations with people who try to convince me I shouldn’t spend another year wasting away in quarantine just because my partner is bringing germs home. But I’ve managed to talk every one of those fictional fuckers down. I have an easy life here. I have access to food, income, physical affection, virtual companionship, and insurance that covers the mental health resources I may need to power through the anxiety and loneliness. I can do what most people can’t, and I… should. I know I should.
But if I’m gonna be here another year (or more), I need to put something on the fucking walls. I need to actually BE here.
I don’t want to be back at work, though. I want another day to put shit together. I asked for the afternoon off and was approved, but I actually think it’s better if I stay on the clock and get back into the swing.
Last week I asked my coworkers what I can do to support them and they gave me actual real ideas. I’m starting to feel like I’ll have a real job again soon.
BUT FIRST! I should go do the final remnants of the last job that I’ve been putting off for two weeks. One more arbitrary stressor off my plate so I can breathe again.
I am tentatively hopeful for my summer, despite everything.
I’m going to learn how to read poetry like an actual person who reads poetry. I’m excited for that.
Do I need to keep amending these with acknowledgements of my extreme privilege? Does it do anybody any fucking good?
I have a couple ideas of what I can do in the future to wield some of this privilege to HELP THE ECONOMY or whatever, without adding to the number of people being exposed in retail/entertainment spaces. But I’m gonna do some research and ask people a lot of questions first.
ACTUALLY I’LL START HERE: Do y’all have ideas on how to help with this? What I can do to take the money I’d normally be spending in restaurants and bars and whatever else, and manage to get it into the hands of people who need it without increasing anyone’s personal risk? IF SO HMU HMU HMU HMU HMU HMU HMU.
Love you all GOODBYE.
In the Dark
Each hour of this life
I see the darkness
more clearly, see how
it lives in the shadows
of the wild phlox, how
it climbs the valley ash
at dusk and finally crowns
the leaves, how it rises
then slowly from the grass.
The trees are still. I
hold my breath that one
moment and suddenly
tiny fires blur the sky
but cannot make it light.
Philip Levine (1980)
Last updated May 26, 2020