Monday, November 10, 2014

The Messy Sloth

Laziness and messiness often coincide. For example, you look at the floor and think to yourself, Gee, that floor needs vacuuming and/or mopping. Or you look over at your laundry, which is labeled as a mountain in some atlases. Your closet and drawers are extremely spacious, with only a few articles of clothing in them. Clutter is everywhere, covered in a thick layer of dust, and some of the leftovers in the fridge are moving on their own.
Then you make excuses for not cleaning. You can do it later, you think. I'm busy right now, you say. And so on, and so forth.

Yes, laziness leads to messiness. So what inspires us to clean? Well, it usually comes down to one of these events.
Perhaps a friend or family member is coming over soon. What do you do? Last-minute cleaning to fool them into thinking you don't always live in a disaster area.
Or maybe you have to move. That's one of the things that makes you go through your stuff and get rid of the things you don't want or need.

Scene from 'Howl's Moving Castle' movie. Incredibly messy bathroom.

Or perhaps it's just that moment when you finally snap. You've been living in utter filth, can't even find the floors or the walls or the ceilings. You haven't seen your cat in three months (Come on, cats are good hiders, but this is just too much). You don't know where the phone or the computer is, and you can't get to the mailbox because the front door disappeared last week. So you can't contact anyone, either for help or to let them know you haven't been smothered by VHS tapes yet. You sleep on CDs and decomposing clothes, because the bed got eaten by garbage and dirty dishes. Your roommate tried to move out, but ended up drowning in knick-knacks.
So finally, after tripping over forty-five dictionaries and having a near-death experience when your face collided with the iron, something just snapped. Your eyes get a crazed look in them, and with an animalistic roar, you fling yourself at the nearest lump of useless junk.
Driven by madness, you dig your way to the door, then fling that shoebox filled with random garbage (which you swore would be useful for an arts and crafts project someday) into the dumpster outside. You stuff fermented sweaters into the washing machine and hit the 'start' button. You uncover the sink beneath cups, bowls, and a pan filled with rancid grease, then fill the dishwasher and run it. Useless stuff is piled in front of the house, a 'Yard Sale' sign atop the mess.
After removing the debris, you find your cat living in underground tunnels it dug in the filth and squalor. You locate your former roommate, trapped beneath a thousand tacky sculptures. And by the way, your roommate still wants to move out, and does so the instant the door is uncovered. You vacuum, scrub, sell or throw stuff away, cackling maniacally as you discard the last magazine (1978, oh my). Then you calmly sit down, happy with your work and with the clean house (you'd forgotten what color the walls were, or that you had that window).

And then you start over with the procrastination of cleaning and accumulation of filth.

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