Everyone else's mess

Under the clutter in my room, a dead roach startled me. It must've been one of the last casualties the final, successful bug-bombing here, to kill the roaches that tagged along with me from Pike's place.

It's been nice living roach-free since then, but there'll be plenty of roaches in whatever rez hotel I'm about to move into. I'll resume chasing and killing 'em. It's a hobby, and that part of having roaches is fun — blam, splatter, or rig up the peanut butter traps again.

There's a downside to everything, though, even roaches. At the rez hotel, sooner or later I'll interrupt a sandwich to walk to the fridge for a pop, and come back to find a roach crawling on my tuna-wich.

♦ ♦ ♦  

It looked like rain, and I wasn't feeling fishy, so I took the day off from selling on Telegraph. After a few hours of trash-bagging, my plan was to get most of my meager possessions boxed up.

I don't have much stuff, though, and Cy has a bad back, so instead I helped him pack. Ain't I a saint?

He doesn't have a car so he borrowed his mother's, but she doesn't trust his driving so she comes with the car like standard equipment. She did the driving but none of the heavy lifting, and she's a top-notch talker and lollygagger like my own mom.

Also, she's afraid of driving on the freeway, so the three-mile trip to Cy's storage lot took almost an hour, each way. And then she was hungry, so we all stopped for lunch at McDonald's, and it wasn't up to their usual standards of sub-mediocrity. My Filet-O-Fish was lukewarm and the tartar had a funky aftertaste, but I'll eat anything so I ate it.

Back at the house, packing Cy's stuff had to wait while Judith and I cleared the hallway and stairway of furniture, and also of books, jackets, knickknacks, dog toys, and everything else that would otherwise be stumbled over and block the way. We carried away forty armloads, boxes, and bundles, just to make the hall pass-through-able, and of course, this messy house being this messy house, there was nowhere to put all the stuff from the hallway.

Some things about this place I won't miss, like everyone else's mess. My own mess is mess enough.

Judith let us use her van, so after we'd filled Cy's mother's car with Cy's stuff, we filled he van, but jeez it was a slow process. One of the cats pees everywhere, so we had to make sure Cy's bedroom door was always closed. And the dog, bless his doggy-soul, bites people so isn't allowed outside, and he's never been trained not to dart out the front door, and if we'd shoved him into another room he'd make a whining ruckus and knock everything over, so the front door had to always be closed, too. And this is a sketchy neighborhood (by Berkeley standards), so the van and car were always locked too.

What that all means is, every load we carried out had to be picked up, taken into the hall, put down so we could close Cy's door, picked up again and maneuvered down the hall and down the stairs, put down to open the front door, picked up and immediately put down to close the front door, and finally carried to one or the other vehicle, put down again, and the door unlocked, before finally being loaded. Then you'd lock the car door, and do it all again.

The dog in the hallway slowed everything further, always in the way like doggies do, and you know what else kept getting in the way? Cy's mother. She dawdled and talked lots, and she wanted answers when she said anything, and she stood in the way almost as often as Lugosi. Between her back-street driving, slow-talking, and amazing knack for standing where people needed to walk, Cy's mom ate about two hours of the day. 

I guess all mothers are my mother.

Also, because of his delicate back, Cy couldn't carry anything but the lightest stuff — his doily collection, perhaps, and boxes with pillows and underwear in 'em. Anything heavy had to be carried by me, or Judith. Not by his mother, either — she lifted nothing all day.

It ain't easy being such a saint, but I did Cy a solid. Dunno why — once he's gone and I'm gone, I'll never see him again.

Meanwhile my own room is only half-packed, and the forecast is sunshine tomorrow so I gotta sell fish, and also I'm about to barf up that lousy McD Filet.

From Pathetic Life #22
Friday, March 29, 1996

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.


  1. The reason you did this is that, despite your strenuous protestations, you are a decent human.


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