Waiting for Poof!

Tomorrow morning, or, to be exact, later this morning, the nice man with the loud motor and all the hoses and the soap will arrive to clean our carpet.

There is nothing we need more. There is nothing I desire less.

Because before the nice man comes, I have to move all the living room furniture into the dining room, which is already filled with a table, chairs, a sideboard stuffed with china, and a stationary bike. Some of the furniture will spill into the kitchen. If I’m not careful, I won’t be able to get to the cabinet for a glass, the sink for water, or the refrigerator for whatever is in there.

Worse yet, before the nice man comes, I have to pick up everything else that is on the floor. The furniture is nothing. I’ll drag three chairs, two tables, and two lamps onto the tile and tell the nice man to work around the piano, the electronics, the couch, and possibly the bookcases, depending on how hard I want to work.

The tables are a bit of a challenge because I have to move their marble tops separately, and marble is heavy. One of the lamps is old, an oil lamp wired for electricity, that I’ve always loved. It’s a challenge, too, because I’m obsessed with its fragility. My mother bought it in Maryland in 1946. We coexisted peacefully for my first forty years, but since I inherited it twenty years ago, I’ve been afraid I would break it. Someday I’ll post a picture of it, but first I have to remove the cobwebs. In case of breakage, I’m counting on cobwebs to hold the shards together.

But, as I said, all those things are really nothing. David will help. He’s home for Columbus’ Day. He might even be looking forward to the experience. He was furloughed–or, as I prefer to call it, shut down–two weeks ago. He doesn’t appear to be growing restive, but cooking breakfast every day is bound to get boring. Variety is a good thing.

The big deal is that I have to pick up all the books and papers previously stacked and now collapsed all around my chair. Books I need to read, books I have read but need to read again, books that were on shelves until I had the impulse to put them where I could reach them. Notebooks of every shape and size and color, a different one for each purpose, and all now multipurpose because I can never find the right one when I need it. Paper paper paper comprising manuscripts of, it seems, everything I’ve ever written. And other stuff. I suspect there’s more other stuff than anything else. I expect to find several items already given up for lost. Especially another pair of socks. They have to be around here somewhere.

Remember the piece Fancy Fairchild posted on the 15 Minutes of Fame blog, about the cloth-covered boxes stacked behind her couch that she’s trying to pass off as an end table? I have some of those too. But without the cloth or the boxes.

So why, you ask, am I writing about getting ready for the carpet cleaner when I should be getting ready.

Denial, that’s why. Just plain denial. If I look at the monitor rather than at the–stuff–it might tippy-toe over to the kitchen all by itself. It might disappear. Vanish. Atomize. Poof!

Stranger things have happened.


The dining room pictured above is not mine, more’s the pity.