‘Tis a glorious mid-October day. The sun is shining. I long to be out in the GANG garden.
Except, DAMN! It’s only 64°, and I need to get into the pond to remove some of the wildly proliferating aquatic plants so that the whole thing doesn’t fill up with gunk before winter.
But no, NO! I must wash the damn sweaters. DAMN! The three sweaters that I wore, every single day, all winter long for two years straight without washing. First I’d put on a clean turtleneck, then I’d put on either the angora sweater or the wool one, then the sweater vest over both. Kept me reasonably warm in a house with both pellet stove and thermometer set at 67°.
Wash the damn sweaters? Why not just dry clean them. DRY CLEAN THEM? USE ALL THOSE CHEMICALS? PAY MORE FOR THE DRY CLEANING THAN I PAID FOR THE BROWN ONE? (Yep. A Goodwill sweater).
Oh hell, why not just throw them all away and start over. That’s what other people do. NO. NO! You can’t do that. You must appreciate matter, not just discard it. Please. Remember when you were a kid, and you lovingly washed your prized Jantzen sweater outfit once every two weeks? Remember how everything you owned (and it wasn’t much in a large family) was treasured? Not just throwaway.
But geez! It’s going to take hours to wash these things. And wringing them dry might hurt my wrist! (See the many posts I devoted to Fractured Wrist Chronicles one year ago).
Oh yeah? Well, tough shit. Deal with it.
Okay, plunge in.
The wool sweater vest, wonderfully thick and green, from Eddie Bauer, is by far the filthiest. No wonder! It’s the one I wear on the outside. The water, I kid you not, is nearly black. Gross. Here it is, wringing wet on a towel on my art table in the room that was recently vacated by my former housemate and permie, Jim. Now the room sits forlorn, awaiting what’s next.
What is next? Not sure. Most likely, a new permie housemate. After, that is, I enjoy at least a few months of solitude, for which I feel guilty, since I know that, given the energy descent and limited non-renewable resources on a finite planet, we’re not supposed to live such spacious lives, that at most all I really need (and love best of all) is the magic 20-foot diameter yurt I used to occupy in the Tetons.
Or, maybe it will once again revert to an art room. That means I’ll have to reactivate that part of myself. Are we allowed such luxuries during such a volatile, unpredictable, revolutionary time, this long-running, exciting, terrifying Uranus/Pluto (2012-2015) global emergency? Or must we, yes, dare to express ourselves fully, each of us in our own unique and irreplaceable manner; that this is how the world will change, how we will, together, in concert, transform the selling of both our souls and our common heritage for short-term goals.
Okay, here’s the purple sweater. This one is harder to wash, given that it has sleeves. And I really love this sweater, too. Angora, so soft. Thank you, Claudia, who gifted it to me! (See our recent trip to Thailand, in Thai Tales) The zipper no longer works. Is stuck half-way down. But who cares? I just step into it.
Okay, I saved the really gross picture for last, though actually, this brown Swiss Goodwill sweater, a scratchy wool, was not nearly as dirty, so water not as brown. That’s because I prefer the purple sweater and wore it more, much more. Even so, look at this. Disgusting. Two years worth. Can you believe? And it didn’t even smell!
Hey maybe people in other countries don’t wash their clothes as much as we do here. Maybe it’s not really necessary. Didn’t I just find that out? Well, no. Because I wore a just washed turtleneck underneath, changing it every two days, with quick showers daily. How many of my wasteful cleansing rituals are really necessary?
Okay, now here’s the kicker. The way I REALLY had to bite the bullet. I had to recognize that my sweet Shadow, here looking so innocent, is riddled with fleas.
That the expensive, toxic flea medication has stopped working. That I have to both give him a bath in some kind of flea shampoo and vacuum the rug he sits on here, and all the floors, every square inch of them, probably daily, for at least a week.
Ouch! And that’s not even the kicker. Nope! The scratchy brown Swiss sweater, it turns out, has holes in it! Moths? I don’t know. Front, back, and both sleeves. Yep. I must have kicked it to the floor of the closet sometime last spring.
Will I wear it even so? Will my new enlightened “materialism” continue? Will I love this sweater even as it unravels?
Oops! Vacuum, first!