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Me as the maid?

Jay's fish stickers and magnets have sold fairly well on weekends, so we wanted to see if there'd be enough business to sell fish on Telegraph during the week, at least during summer months. Today was supposed to be the first attempt, and I scored an excellent 11 in the morning draw, but there were only 11 vendors, so actually mine was the last name picked. Just like PE.

There were very few vendors, because of very many clouds, and it started raining during the draw. I called Jay with doubts, and we agreed not to set up the fish stand. Our table has an umbrella, but it's only big enough to keep me and the fish dry. Customers would be standing on the sidewalk getting drenched, which is not conducive to stopping and browsing.

Since I was in Berkeley and Judith lives there, I called her, asked if she had any work for me, and ended up doing maid work at her house — cleaning catshit, sweeping the stairs, and mopping the john. And then, something unexpected happened.

I'm a good maid, Judith says, and she hates housework, so she offered me a room in her very large flat, free of rent if I'd be her live-in housekeeper, like Alice on The Brady Bunch. Alice had to deal with six annoying children in addition to cooking and cleaning and doubtless sexual harassment, but at Judith's house I'd only be the maid.

There'd be no paycheck, but in exchange for part-time work, free rent seems like a fair deal. The idea came out of nowhere, and we only talked about it for a few minutes. More talking about it to come, tomorrow.

It might be charity. Judith reads the zine, knows I hate people, and we'd been chatting about how much I hate Terry, my flatmate Pike's aggravating girlfriend who's always in the apartment. That's when Judith said, "You could move in here, and be my maid," so maybe it's more about rescuing me from the Pike-Terry situation than about Judith actually needing a maid.

I have no pride, though. No objections to taking charity. Anyone reading this, feel free to send cash.

And also, Judith's house is a mess, and she kinda does need a maid. Their flat is huge and always cluttered and dusty, with dirty dishes perpetually stacked in the sink, stains on the walls, lumps in the caret. It's basically a disaster, except for whatever small patch of it I've cleaned for $5 an hour, and whatever I've cleaned is a mess again next time I'm there.

Judith is married, I should mention, and lives with her husband in a very large flat above a store that's long been out of business. It's near the Ashby BART station in Berkeley, and it's a huge place — eight or nine rooms (an estimate; I've never counted). With no kids, they don't need all that space, so they've rented two of the rooms to boarders. I'd be the third, which means five people would be sharing two bathrooms and the kitchen, and I'd be the one keeping everything tidy.

That's the part that seems all wrong — I'm a slob and always have been. Everywhere I've lived, you could only see the floor in rare patches where by luck newspapers, underwear, trash, books, and jelly jars haven't landed. Philosophically, tidying things up or scrubbing the porcelain is something I simply don't do, like making the bed or baking bread.

Me as the maid? Preposterous. 

Free rent, though? Hmmm. Maybe I could be Alice. I have experience wearing a skirt...

Best of all, I've met Judith's husband and the two guys who board there, and never heard any of them screaming at anyone else. "No screaming" seems to be a household rule.

With Pike and Terry, the rule is "No not screaming." I'm sure tired of coming home to their arguments, which is what I come home to almost every time I come home. It's what I came home to tonight. They're screaming in the next room while I'm typing this.

Terry is screaming at Pike because he dropped two plates and they only have three, so now they'll have to buy more plates. Pike is screaming at Terry because he found a dead roach in the oatmeal, after she hadn't sealed the box. There's an unspoken subtext to tonight's screaming, though. What they're really screaming is, "Doug, you don't want to live here..."

From Pathetic Life #13
Wednesday, June 14, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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