Killing the Three Headed Beast

Posted: October 20, 2009 in The Roper Files
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september 7th 002
Work seemed like an eternity this last week.
This weekend has been more like a second job than having three days off. Once again I am facing a triple-headed dragon of laundry, yard-work and house-work to conquer and slay . Since I worked four ten-hour shifts, I got a three day weekend and was able to spread the chores out to one a day.
Friday morning I rose early and quickly assumed my once-a-week alter-ego/ identity of Laundor, God of Laundry. I got up and drank coffee and washed, dried and folded all of the prior weeks work clothes.
The rain that has blanketed North Texas for the last two weeks subsided just as I was loading up my truck. Drove to my favorite laundry-mat, spent $3.75 and washed my work apron as well as the sheets I woke up in. The “open” neon clicked on cue as I pulled into the parking lot. No one else was there; put everything in the appropriate machines and then walked next door to the taqueria and got a breakfast taco for $1.62. ( Oh shit; they went up a dime. Who do they think I am; Ed Bass?)
By the time I strolled back into the Super Wash, the machines stopped turning just as the dials read “off”. Perfect timing.
Super Wash Nov 14th
Loaded everything back into my truck and sped back to the house. Threw loads #3 and #4 in the dryer.
Man I live by myself; how does one person generate so much laundry? No matter everything is done. Got clean work clothes, fresh socks, fresh underwear, clean shirts and clean pants. The bed I awoke in has the sheets I washed, dried and folded the Friday before on it now awaiting me for tonight. The sheets I woke up in are now washed, dried and folded. Make no mistake, I rule the laundry world.
All grovel at the feet of Laundor….

Saturday morning I couldn’t sleep. Laid in bed and tossed and turned all morning long.
My lawn which besides being covered in wet leaves (damn seasonal changes; can’t something be done about that?) hadn’t been mowed in over two weeks because of the near-constant rain. I was starting to go absolutely Hank Hill. My hands were trembling; I was ready to mow that lawn before it started raining again.

october18 th 2009 002
Really should have waited until Sunday to do this; the grass was still damp. Had to mow it in half-strips and even then had to stop periodically and scrape the wet grass out from underneath the mower. It was like trying to mow wet spinach. It usually only takes about twenty minutes to do this; I spent at least an hour out there. I knew damn well as I put the mower and the edger up that the fall leaves would cover everything soon and the yard would look awful again unless I raked up the leaves every day but hey head number two of The Beast was off.
october18 th 2009 001
Saturday night the temperature drops to the 40’s as it turns into Sunday morning. I sleep late and awake wrapped up like a mummy in my freshly-washed sheets and blankets. Start to write but sit staring at a blank document page instead. Writing for me personally isn’t exactly an automatic process. Sometimes the words just don’t flow; this Sunday appears to be one of them.
This Mexican stand-off is interrupted by “K” showing up in a chat window.
As we chat outside I watch it change from the half-light of sunrise to full-blown bright white beams of sunlight shining into my kitchen from outside. Our chat runs into several hours (as they tend to do on weekends) before she tells me she needs to go to the store. I tell her I am going to clean my apartment. We say goodbye and I sign out and shut off the PC.

Go as far as to get out the Swiffer and all of the other necessary implements and then make the mistake of looking outside. It has been raining almost constantly for the last two weeks. Fall is here and the temperatures have been slowly dropping. Open the door and step out; the thermometer in my carport says 70. The last two weekends it was raining; today the sun is out. It’s warm enough to wear shorts.
Step back inside, walk back to my bedroom and dig out a pair of shorts. Screw cleaning the house; I’m going for a walk.

Toss the jeans in my “wash” basket and slip into my black shorts. Grab the keys and I’m off. The sun already feels good on my legs as I slip the key into the dead-bolt.
Walking gives such a new perspective on my neighborhood; ordinarily I am zooming through it at 30mph. Walking forces me to actually look at my surroundings. Hey look is that a 1962 Dodge in that old mans garage? I get around the corner and find my first flattened 32 oz aluminum beer can in the street. Fish a plastic bag from my pocket and bag it. Hey 40 cents a pound…

picking up cans
Besides aluminum cans I find a large amount of nails and large screws when I am walking around my neighborhood. And even though I can’t sell them, I pick up each and every one; I drive these streets too. The city should give me some kind of award; I have over the years picked up a truly disturbing amount of these things from our streets. Who’s dropping these things all over the place?

Since today is Sunday, many nearby businesses are closed. This allows me to root through their dumpsters for the Diet Coke and Monster energy drink cans I will inevitably find. And since Texas finally passed an open container law, the streets are usually littered with beer cans especially later in the afternoon. The best places besides dumpsters are the areas around stop sign and traffic signals, bus stops and parking lots. The convenience store by my house is usually a goldmine in between their dumpster, their parking lot and the alley behind them where the homeless sit and drink.

october 20 th 2009 001
In less than an hour I fill up three plastic shopping bags with flattened cans; not bad if I do say so myself. Come home and add them to the latest 55 gallon bag; the damn thing is almost as tall as me and getting full. I will wait until I have three or four of them to bother hauling them in. The weekend before I left for Canada I sold 46 pounds of aluminum in three large bags that filled the back of my truck for a mere 18 dollars. The price tends to go up in the winter months; it will be wise to sit on them until then.

september 19th 2009 003
My cats are waiting at the door for me as usual wanting food; give me a minute, will you? The sun is going down and I am tired from my extensive little hike. Don’t think I’ll be cleaning the house today.
I shove a frozen pizza from the dollar store in the oven and reach for a can of cat food for the hungry horde outside. Looks like an evening of falling asleep in front of the TV for me.

MONDAY…Go to my menial job, clock in and go through the motions. Kill ten hours, then stop and get orange chicken to go at my current favorite Asian place on the way home. Unlock the door and the cleaning implements I laid out the day before are all staring at me. Oh shit; I haven’t cleaned this place in at least two weeks. I DID drag out the cleaning stuff for a reason.
The food goes in the fridge and I go to work. Without missing a beat I begin to clean the bathroom, dust, vacuum and mop the floors. Two hours later my humble little bachelor pad is spotless and ready for a white-glove inspection.

Heat up my dinner in the microwave and sit down and look around my place. The three-headed dragon has been conquered. Everything has been washed, my badly-needed lawn has been mowed and I took an extra 24 hours to do it but my house has been cleaned as well.
Have some chicken and rice, boy; you’ve earned it.

DEATH TO THE BEAST !

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