I’m not a neat person.
I mean, I’m neat like “hey, that’s a neat t-shirt you’re wearing” (what kind of t-shirt popped up in your head? I thought of a burger shirt. I have one with a wicked awesome sesame bun and an appropriate but really devastating grease stain). But I’m not neat by way of organization. I remember how my lift lid school desk would clutter until it became the likeness of a Saturday yard sale and somehow, hard as I tried, I could never seem to tame it. My backpack was a similar story, but that’s especially weird because I was obsessed with having dividers in my binders, but hated actually dividing things.
I also remember leaving laundry sprawled out on my apartment floor days after doing it, but that’s because this just happened this week and I waited until Thursday to fold it, mere days before before I had to do laundry all over again. Naturally, I really enjoy reading articles about how creative people are messy by nature. That’s me, right? Just a sad, tortured artist with a of unopened mail from 2013. I should really open those letters and find out what credit cards I’ve been pre-approved for.
Considering all this and the fact that there’s a box of Kosher salt I’ve moved across three apartments, I’m long overdue for a decluttering. Let me just say that I’m supremely jealous of people who have procrastinate by cleaning. People who defer productivity by being productive: what is your secret? What are you avoiding when you’re cleaning—winning a nobel prize? Have you ever thought of making your procrastination mobile and coming to clean someone else’s apartment?
While I’ve made small little bags over the month of recyclables, it’s not easy for me to let go. Despite not being as sentimental about things as I once was, I have the newfound problem of saying: well if this is really trash, wouldn’t I have thrown it away already? Why did I keep it all these years if I didn’t really need it?
Because you have a sickness, Nhi. You know you don’t need that empty CD case with the broken hinge. And no, it’s not an appropriate metaphor for life, either.
The other night I got so fed up with the clutter and realized how much it consumed my thoughts that I finally mustered up the motivation to clear some of it out. I cleared the table by my door. I picked up under the couch, where I found some lavender bath salts from my taking-baths stint (remember that?) This, I figured, was the universe pushing me to reward myself for cleaning with a nice relaxing bath for my sore back. This was the first time I’ve tried to take a bath in this apartment, but as it’s so old, the hot water ran out before the tub was even filled halfway. I used my water boiler to add two pots of hot water into the tub, but in the end it was just a laughable scene of being waist high in tepid water, undissolved salt, trying not to get the library’s copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire wet. I’m sorry for the water that was wasted. Lesson learned and apartment cleaned.