Thursday, August 03, 2006

bugs and heatstroke and a raging electric bill; what's not to love?

Since I've been trapped inside the house until the relentless sun, well, relents, I've embarked on a new personal mission to not only clean the house but emancipate it from the toys and clutter that impede local foot traffic.

There are those cheerful realists who actually believe houses stand on foundations. I am here to pronounce: Not at all. Ours stands on Fisher-Price airports, outgrown clothes no one bothered to take to Goodwill, tricycles and big cardboard boxes labeled X-MAS DECORATIONS. (How "X" came to be shorthand for "Christ" I'm not certain. These are mysteries we can explore later.)

Here is the crux of the problem, the reason this arduous quest for order is never quite finished: when I start sorting through the drawers and the papers I find things I'd forgotten entirely about. The six-year-old's school pictures. A crayoned paper cup from my teenager's kindergarten with a teabag inside that says, in a handwritten scrawl, HAVE A DRINK AND THINK OF ME. (Gladly, I'm still thinking wryly.) I ooh and I ahh and I laugh and I sigh and then
  1. Nothing gets sorted and
  2. I put it all back where I found it.
Not very productive, this. I know. But it takes my mind off the ridiculous heat.

Never been much of one for scrapbooking, which would be a pretty constructive receptacle for this kind of sentimental miscellania. Heather makes beautiful scrapbooks. It's an art form, scrapbooking. Family outings and vacations and holidays documented with lovely backgrounds and elaborate designs and even a small inset script explaining the occasion.

I would be the Tim Burton of scrapbooking, I fear.

So, I'm doing the best I can.

Oh! And I've been putting off taking my pills in the morning because I have come to enjoy this little grace period in which I pretend that I don't really need them. I delay going into the bathroom and opening up the medicine cabinet and counting out the tablets as I shake them out of their individual green or orangeish-brown bottles. Because that makes so much sense, really it does. But it's a ritual that makes me feel so practiced and old, like a junkie, or a 95-year-old woman with a quilted face.

When I do venture outdoors I am swiftly punished. The other night after it cooled off about two degrees or so I walked outside into the yard and immediately something bit me. I don't know what. Something. I couldn't see it, so it must have been very small. Very small and very toxic, because by the time I'd gotten back inside the house I had a metallic taste in my mouth, my heart was racing and I started swelling up. (I have the same reaction when someone criticizes my work, so it was very difficult to pinpoint.)

I took two Benadryl and lived, but now I am...disturbingly dotted. Yes, I said dotted. Mostly about the knees. It's as if a flood of tsetse flies ate my legs. Very attractive.

I hate summer. I do. I really hate it. Bugs, heatstroke, tsetse flies. I may as well be living in the flipping Congo.