Monday, July 21, 2008

Dirty Hands, Clean Heart


A cluttered house is a cluttered mind. My Zen Shiatsu Acupressure teacher used to say that. Of course, he was very zen about it and he meant everything from your actual house to your colon to your soul, but it pretty much rings true across the board.
        When I lived in Phoenix, I cleaned the house of a man named Rhythm and Blues Rick for a little extra income on the side. I was already working full time in a coffee shop, but my tightwad husband (ex-husband) decided that since I didn't make as much as he did and we shared a bank account I needed to get a second job. R and B Rick was a pretty laid back guy, he was a regular at the coffee shop and when he mentioned one day over his single shot cap that he was looking for someone to clean his house I jumped at it.
        The first day I went to his house was the only day I ever saw him there. He preferred that I arrive and finish while he was at work, and that was okay by me. He gave me a key and the tour, showing me where all the cleaning supplies were and the washer and dryer and how to work the stereo (very important), and with great faith left me alone with all of his earthly possessions.
        I liked the job fine, he paid me by the hour, didn't mind if I took my time, and left me tasty snacks and coffee to enjoy while I worked. Also, R and B Rick was a clean man. I vacuumed floors that didn't seem to need vacuuming, I wiped counters that were already wiped, and I mopped a kitchen floor you could already have eaten off of. Mainly, I think he just didn't want to do his laundry or clean the bathroom, as these were the only dirty spots in the house. I guess you can say that I sort-of hosed the man, considering that I charged him for an entire house cleaning that he did not need, but that's what he asked me to do.
      The best part about the gig was not that it was so easy, but that Rhythm and Blues Rick worked at an adult toy/bookstore and he tended to take work home with him. In order to get out the vacuum cleaner I had to push aside the whips and chains. When I dusted the knick-knacks on the shelves I gave just as much careful attention to detail to the framed pictures of his mother as I did to the penis and vagina sculptures. Sometimes there was a surprise, like the time I went to do his laundry and found handcuffs in the hamper. Some people might have been freaked out by some of the things he had lying around, the edible panties under the bed, the Big Book of Big Cocks that I faithfully dusted once a week, but I felt privileged and discreet, like we shared a professional relationship not unlike that of a doctor and patient. Every time I left his house I felt both virtuous and expanded, my little mind awash with the possibilities, some so dirty and some so clean. 
          Eventually the charm wore off, a penis was just something difficult to dust properly and the whips would always slip off their hooks right when I thought I'd gotten everything back in its place. One day, while down on my hands and knees cleaning behind the toilet I thought "That's it! This is the last time I'll clean a toilet I don't use! From here on out it's for love or not at all." 
         That declaration of course proved false as I have cleaned many a toilet for money since then, but they've always been in restaurants, never have they been such an intimate experience as it was then.
         Today I cleaned my house. I think I'm better at it now than I was when I did it for R and B Rick. I've gained some experience, I'm older now, wiser. I can get a polishing job done in minutes what used to take me an hour of relentless rubbing and rubbing! Sure, I can get the job done, but does it really mean as much when it's just for me alone? Clean, yes. Fulfilled? No. 
      In the end I have my clean house, but no one leaves me tasty snacks, and now that I've quit drinking there are very few surprises in the laundry hamper. I suppose that's how it should be. 
      Sometimes I wonder about R and B Rick. I wonder if he got a new girl to clean his house. I wonder if she was discreet, if she was good. I wonder if she was better than I was, or if maybe sometimes he looks back on those days like I do, sighs, and thinks, "She was the best, the best I ever had."

11 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

All right. I say this as a completely unprejudiced person who reads a lot of blogs:
Excellent bloggage! Really, really fine.
Child, you are a writer.
I love these little windows into your life, crafted so skillfully with such humor and joy.
Please don't stop.

Miss Maybelle said...

Oh, it's all just so much bloggeral. Thank you, it really means a lot coming from you.

juancho said...

My house is a mess..

Miss Maybelle said...

For love or not at all, Juancho. Or maybe fifty bucks.

Ms. Moon said...

May- where did you find that picture? I want it in real life. Hanging in my house. I do love it.

Miss Maybelle said...

I looked on google images for "clean house". It's a poster for a play by that title. I love it too. First I found it with the play info on it and then a page or two later I came across a clean copy.

juancho said...

You are a fancy font color changer, that's what you are.

Miss Maybelle said...

Yes, and a bee charmer...
It's fun to play with colors.

juancho said...

You can't charm no bees.

Miss Maybelle said...

Well, I never really tried, but I've thought about it and I think if I stayed very very still and didn't show my teeth it would go down pretty well. I would sing a hummy song. Bees would like that.

LoPo said...

Juancho, hijo, Aunty Audrey is a bee charmer. I watched her hold her finger up in front of a bee (more than once) and lead it out the door.
:)

Miss Maybelle, nice to find your blog and finally meetcha! :)I like what I read - a LOT! :)