Cleaning Away Crazy
I resented all of the interruptions, feeling that I should be allowed to go about my cleaning, immerse myself in my own rehabilitation. I contemplated checking myself in. If I were a resident this would be the cleanest group home in the county. I would not gather at the foot of the staff person doing the scrubbing, asking for smokes, asking why they're bothering with the cleaning anyway, reminding them that it's just going to get dirty again and no one cares. I would work on getting myself better.
Don laughed at me as bleach water ran down my arms and into my armpits, via my sleeves, as I reached for the tops of kitchen cabinets, scrubbing away years of grease and bug parts. He watched, looking up from the counter he was perched upon. I wished he wouldn't sit there. I wondered if he could see up my shirt.
"Why the hell are you doing this? Do you actually think any of these nut jobs care that you're cleaning up after them? Come play chess with me."
I told him I didn't care if they didn't care, it needed to be done. It was part of my job. "No offense, but any asshole with a GED could do this job. Why are you here?"
Before I could answer, tell him that I was just another asshole with a GED, he was walking away, yelling over his shoulder, "Hey, get me a smoke. I'll be outside."
I cleaned and in between I retrieved cigarettes and sodas and towels and anything else locked away. I scrubbed, and I mopped, and I sprayed, and I wiped. I tried to clean away the crazy that seemed to breed in E House, in spite of all of the drugs and the visits to psychiatrists.
In spite of my cleaning the crazy stayed.
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