bunt sign

April 29, 2000

Sometimes it does sound like a rooster. Other times, like screaming tires (a sound it's heard more than once, no doubt). More often, it's like fingernails on a blackboard.

Whatever it sounds like, the concept of "sleeping in on Saturday morning" is a foreign one to the Peacock Tribe. Maybe it's against the by-laws of the Peacock Guild. I'm hoping that it's just the peacock screeching season, and I'm really hoping it's a short season.

So, after getting up ludicrously early for a Saturday, I headed to the old homestead for another cleaning spree. Walls, counters, sinks, the tub and the toilet were on the day's agenda, and that explains a lot about how I feel tonight. Not just tired and sore, but a wee bit loopy from inhaling cleaning solvent fumes all day.

Eric came by as arranged to take me to the dumps. That place smelled sweet by comparison with the bathroom and kitchen I was closed up in the rest of the day. We had a lovely day for our outing, and apparently the rest of Sonoma County agreed that it was a dumpish kind of Saturday, because there was a line of pickups at the entrance. Our first stop was the recycling area, where we found a staggering assortment of quality second-hand items.

And then we were off to the top of the hill, where we joined the row of happy campers hurling their loads into the landfill. I wanted to get a shot of the giant tractor that rolls by periodically, but I didn't see it coming in time. In fact, I was closer to getting a shot at it than of it. I had a crusty old cast iron skillet in my hand, already into my windup, when Eric stopped me from heaving it through the tractor window. I also couldn't get a good shot of the hundreds of seagulls circling the disposal site. I took the picture, but I'm apparently not a good enough photographer yet, because all I could see was sky.

All this activity made us hungry, of course, so we discussed appropriate venues for a post-dump lunch. (Ewww!) Eric suggested that a drive-through wouldn't be a good idea, because he thought we should go somewhere where we could go inside and wash our hands. That did seem to make the meal a more appetizing prospect.

After lunch he dropped me off back at the old place, and Mom came by to help. I wanted her there mostly to supervise, to tell me what I might have overlooked while I'd been cleaning. I tend to be myopic, and miss the same spots over and over. But she insisted on pitching in and cleaned off the mini-blinds for me. I would have finished it all today if I hadn't been overcome by fumes, so I still have to go back and spend part of my Sunday doing the floors and carpets. That's all that's left, though, and then I turn the place over tomorrow evening.

Getting that seven hundred dollar deposit back is now not just a financial necessity. It's a quest. It's the validation of the effort I've put in over the last week, getting the place in shape. In shape for what, I'm not sure, because they're replacing linoleum, painting walls, laying new carpets, and pretty much remodeling the whole house. In fact, everyone who's seen me at work this week has told me what an idiot I am for being so obsessed with doing a perfect job. I realized today that I can't clean everything perfectly, no matter how much of myself I lose in the job, so I'm resigned to keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I've done it well enough to satisfy my friends at the rental agency.

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