the house. day 1. feb 27th.

i am exhausted. my back is all but broken. and a bubble bath with a bells two hearted didn't help as much as i had hoped. probably because i was true to my word, and called my parents to tell them how it went at the house.

no pinback, that i had queued up, for the bath. no relaxing, really. i made the water hot enough to work on my muscles, but too hot to be comfortable in. my face was sweating.

i talked to them until i couldn't take the heat anymore, then took a cooler shower and got dressed. i'm hoping to go to favorite bar. it's hardly something to brag about, not having gone there for a drink since like tuesday or something. but there were months where i would have considered that completely unacceptable.

so. the house.

i woke up early, around 9, from a dream that involved the writer, being on some kind of a crazy boat, and a bunch of puppies. this was inspired by thoughts and conversations i had yesterday, and by the amount of puppy love i received this weekend. it started with seeing my own puppy on friday and getting so many face licks. then, last night, realtor hosted kit and i at a game night, and she had three dogs. all italian greyhounds. which i now need to own.

one was looking for a home, i guess. and i spent a lot of time with her. she's only four months old, and so sweet - all legs, really. weighs like five pounds.

i wish i could be a good puppy mommy. but i work too much and go out too much to be one right now. i guess that, when the time is right, i will take that leap.

i miss having a dog in my life. a little 'person' who loves you unconditionally, seems to know when you're having a bad day, and is an amazing companion. always there when you want them to be.

after friday with my own dog, last night almost made me cry, because they were all so sweet and cuddly. it's how a lot of people feel about babies, i guess. i feel that way about puppies.

anyway, a tangent. i woke up almost crying, because i'd just rescued this puppy from drowning in the writer-boat dream, and i was crying in the dream. but i shook it off, got up after lounging in bed with coffee for a long time, and got cleaned up.

i put on my working clothes. this campus inn tee that i adore, but can't wear on a day to day because i swim in it. but it's 1970s authentic thinned out and so soft. and the jeans i ruined when i was polyurethaning the floors before we moved into the house. they were my favorite jeans, and i don't know what i was thinking, but i poly'd in them and got poly all over them. so now they're my work pants.

and i'm glad i dressed as i did, because i was FILTHY when i left. i mean, i don't know if the dirt will wash out, filthy.

not to mention, it was almost sixty here today. it was sunny and beautiful, which was amazing, because i had every window in the house open. airing the bitch out.

i would have, even if it was thirty, so the fact that the breeze was warm coming in? perfect...

i took a box full of cleaning supplies over. my swiffer (even though i was mostly certain i couldn't use it on the floors). my mini r2 (my shop vac that looks like r2d2). my trusty handled scrubber pad. a pack of paper towels. and a roll of toilet paper.

i spent the first two hours in the kitchen. the two roommates were home, but not awake/up and about yet, so i worked on the quiet stuff first. the kitchen was so gross. so. gross.

i moved everything. i washed all the stuff that doesn't usually get washed (like the dish drainer). i scrubbed the granite for over an hour. i scrubbed the appliances down.

i tried not to cry when i scrubbed the huge sticker off the face of my beautiful stainless steel refrigerator (i'll fucking KILL him). and when whatever was spilled down the front of the stainless steel dishwasher wouldn't come off. and when i couldn't scrub the microwave completely clean.

i think that what i was most sad about was knowing that i was the last person to clean everything. A YEAR AGO. i'm sure the counters had been cleaned, but not in months. seriously, there was stuck on jelly and i couldn't identify what else. but several passes with clorox clean up and the scrubber. which i'm probably not even supposed to use on it. but whatever.

all i kept thinking was, i'm ocd. i have to eat from this kitchen. it is filthy.

i cleaned and did passes until the paper towels were white.

then i had a smoke break. on the back patio, which is on top of my garage.

it was awesome, except for the fact that the car wash was up and operating. i fucking hate that guy. yeah, i know, he keeps the drug dealers off the street. but he is obnoxious as shit and annoying as fuck, and i wish he'd move out of the house behind mine.

then i went back in, and into the dining room. then the bedroom. i was collecting everything ever had left behind, whether it was intentional or not. and putting it in the living room in a gigantic pile for him.

i cleaned and dusted the stuff he left in the bedroom, took most of it downstairs for him to either take or throw away.

and i spent the time in that room thinking about how i gave him all day yesterday to clean, and how i couldn't tell that he had cleaned a single thing. i tried not to get angry, because i would have redone it all anyway, because i'm ocd like that, and because he's a filthy piece of shit.

but whatever. then i went up to the former shop, which is the entire third floor. a loft now, converted from two bedrooms, with its own bathroom.

i've been thinking that i should reside up there. that everything i own would pretty much fit there, because it's about the size of my apartment. only problem is that there isn't a door or a wall, because we gutted them all. because i have the bed i got, and the one he left, i'm thinking i might sleep in the former master bedroom, but also have the third floor set up.

i can use it all, because he did and they were used to that. and someday when they move out, i can live on the third floor only and use the second floor master as a guest room.

because i love having house guests.

speaking of which, i spent a little time with the boys today.

shawn (the gay one) is so smiley. he seemed happy to see me, though probably a bit surprised. he smells nice. and he's clean. and he went to cooking school. i don't know how he survived the last month in that kitchen the way it was. but i know he was grateful when he went downstairs this morning and saw it gleaming.

he said mike (the awkward one) was home, but asleep probably. he came out of his room at 2 or so, but said he'd been awake.

it was funny... he said he opened his door and smelled cleaning stuff, and wondered what the hell was going on. that he didn't know i was there until he saw me, but that the house had needed a good scrubdown for a very long time (he moved in a month after i moved out). and that the kitchen looked awesome. and to please let him know if i needed an hand anywhere. that he was happy to help mop or vacuum. it made me feel good.

it made me smile. i thanked him and said i was fine to do it, that i needed to do it. but that i'd let him know.

i started vacuuming top to bottom, staircases included (there are three and they have runners - it's no small feat). i had to move the three pieces he left in every room (did he plan that?) to vacuum up a years worth of cat and dog hairballs and mouse shit.

kit recommended getting a cleaning service. i still might. but i wouldn't wish what i walked into on my worst enemy. no one i know would have been able to stomach it, so i did it alone. i have to get to a baseline.

but that's how my back became so sore, bending over to vacuum cracks and crevices. and stairs. it was unreal. i spent three hours vacuuming, with a lunch break between. i was getting hangry and had to do something about it. thanks, kit, for adding the word to my vocabulary.

i went to the corner store for the first time in a year, and got the chicken finger platter for $3.50. such an amazing deal.

it was awesome.

i dusted everything before i vacuumed i guess. my eyes are still on fire, i was blowing my nose the whole time i was there.

with the windows open, it was pretty awesome. the place still has that animal stink on the first floor and the cigarette stink on the other two floors, but it was better.

and i'd like to add that i picked up about forty bobby pins that ever had been using to scrape resin from the pipe he smokes weed out of. they were on the floors in every room i cleaned.

i will sleep well tonight. i wore myself out. i was proud of my six hour timeline, because i got there a little before noon and was done at 554. perfect. i couldn't have done any more without a meltdown.

and, i did something ever had also not done since i left. i manned up, and put new light bulbs in all the hall fixtures. they've been stumbling around in the dark for a year, because it required a ten foot ladder (the ceilings are that high). i was super proud of myself.

those boys have been living in squalor.

i would refuse to pay $500 a month for a room in a house that filthy. and knowing that it will be clean from here on out must be a good feeling for them.

and at around 5, mike asked if i had anything he could use to clean the bathroom he and shawn share.

which also made me smile. house pride is contagious. of course they weren't going to clean with ever the slob reigning. but day one of tea the ocd clean freak in control of the shit? top to bottom. he was scrubbing in the bathroom after i left at 6. i thanked him for helping, and told him i'd be around tomorrow to get trash and everything out, and to mop the house top to bottom, after work.

i feel good. it wasn't as sad and horrible as i thought it would be. to be there. the cleaning was a bitch, but it had to happen. and honestly, i had to do it. myself. it's what i do when i move into a place. it has to be to my standards, and i don't delegate that work. keeping up with it may be a challenge, but the boys are cool and way neater than ever was, so i don't expect to run into problems. nothing a nicely toned note can't fix.

i'll settle for blogger and beers at home tonight. i really wanted out, but my back is throbbing, and writing on the stoop with cigarettes and in bed with beers is going to be fine.

for a minute today, i thought it was saturday, and was completely heartbroken when i realized that i didn't have tomorrow away from work to clean and recover.

it will be okay.

and tomorrow, after work will be enough time to mop and get a big batch of trash out. the city quota is seven bags, one day a week. luckliy, i have a side entrance, so i can put out fourteen. and scavengers can carry away the broken chairs, busted appliances, and mirrors that ever accumulated, if he doesn't want them. along with the nasty couch that the cat scratched to shreds. it's so nice to see the house empty. and it will be even nicer to see everything of mine in it. clean, and fresh. pretty things that i spent money on when i left him. in the house. where they belong.

i'm in need of comfort snacks, and i've enough chocolate here to kill a large dog. so i'm kinda set.

i'm so tired. sleepy, even. i'll nod off to fringe or something else i haven't yet caught up on. i spent yesterday packing and stacking boxes to my eye level in the apartment. and took breaks to watch modern family and fringe and the office. i should be caught up on all three tonight, if i can keep my burning eyes open long enough.

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