Things To Avoid

I am writing words on a page right this very second as a last ditch effort to get out of cleaning my room. I hate cleaning my room. Mostly, I hate cleaning my room because someone went in there and basically threw up 17 tons of clothing all over the floor that I can't stand. It's all ugly clothes that make me look fat. Clothes that are stupid and uncomfortable and smell weird. And they're every where. Creeping out of drawers and sliding sneakily off of hangers to attack me when I try to find my cleanest dirty sweatpants. They're hateful clothes that snicker behind my back and whisper how much cuter they look on my 16 year old daughter when she was wearing them while I was out of town. And they're covering a disgusting brown carpet that Josh says he won't take out of my room until it's clean. A disgusting brown carpet that has ganged up with my old, hateful clothes to make me feel dirty and disgusting and like my Only Friends In The World are my sweatpants. I have to get in there and kick those nasty clothes in the bum so that I can get rid of the spiteful carpet that would make me hate my whole room if there wasn't a really comfortable bed in there. Actually sometimes I think I leave the horrible clothes on the floor, covering the foul carpet, just so I don't have to walk on it, I can just walk on the clothes I hate to get to the comfy bed. Or the sweatpants. But I can't avoid it forever, the carpet, and the clothes. I have to overcome it, so that Josh will tear out the gross floor covering and expose the asbestos linoleum from the 60s that he says will kill us if we breath the air emanating from it. I keep explaining that it can't be worse than the contaminated carpet, and I would rather die than wear any of the clothes anyway. Horrifically, I have to go in there and sit ON THE VILE CARPET to PUT AWAY THE HURTFUL CLOTHES to get anywhere in this life. Even to die from the asbestos. It's all up to me. My life is hard. And that is why I am typing.

When I opened up my eyes this morning, the first thing that crossed my mind is that someplace, there is someone waking up in worse pain than me. I congratulated myself on the habit that I have cultivated of comparison-gratitude, whereby I now instinctively turn my complaints into a pseudo-thankfulness. Psychologically, I am not sure that I am winning. Mostly because my second thought was that whoever out there woke up in more pain than me was probably suffering for some good reason, and nobly so, and I just have a stupid uterus. So then I thought that I should be thankful for even waking up, since some people didn't even get to do that this morning, and my shallow, selfish psyche instantly threw the pain and the mean clothes on the floor and the disgusting carpet in my face and made some snarky comment about how not waking up sounded somewhat pleasant, and at least those poor souls weren't in more pain than me anymore. Human beings are terrible people. Really we are. Here I am, whining about some moderate-to-severe chronic pain, and too many expensive clothes that don't fit on my too well fed body in my too-warm, if dirty and smelly house, and I can't really stop my own mind on a plateau of actual gratitude. Shame on me. I deserve to clean a disgusting room.

After all of that psychological, guilt-based warfare on myself, I decided to just stay in bed and play with Dagny for awhile. That seemed to help my general demeanor, as well as a bowl of slippery ripe peaches with heavy cream and some darn good coffee. I do have to pretend that this brown carpet isn't in my house when I eat and drink, or watch movies, or anything, otherwise it grosses me out and I want to just rip it out right now and die of asbestos poisoning. Can somebody tell Josh that nobody every died right-this-second from asbestos flooring? I am sure that is true but I lack the evidence to back it up. He is mostly concerned with the asbestos accelerating the acute case of high blood pressure and heart disease we both got when we sat in a car for a month on the last fire and gained ten pounds apiece. He doesn't believe me when I tell him that the carpet is contributing to my depression and nasty carpet has been linked to a high percentage of unexpected suicides. Much more dangerous than asbestos flooring. Plus the asbestos has cute yellow flowers that make me feel happy. At least I will feel happy when I die of heart disease and asbestos poisoning.

I really think that it's all of this BROWN that is getting me down. Seriously. I like brown, certain shades in certain contexts. But to be fair, everyone knows that we got rid of a certain Suburban once because the brown overwhelmed me and made me heartsick (which is like emotional carsickness). Now the whole house is brown. Brown carpet, brown walls, brown windowsills and couches and pillows and dogs and floors and paneling and tables and chairs and brown-brown-brown-brown-brown. I feel like I am drowning in dirty brown that smells like 4 dogs and teenage girls. It's too much. I am heartsick. No wonder I won't leave the house and I feel depressed. I feel brown when I walk outside and go to town. Everything is brown. I am brown. Even the deer in my front yard right now is brown. The layer of dust and mud on both cars is brown, and Josh doesn't support car washes that cost more than the loose change in the cupholder that you give to the youth group in the Safeway parking lot. It's because of people like Josh that youth groups don't do car washes any more. At 47 cents a car, it just doesn't add up. So our cars are brown too. And our porch. And even my coffee. And all of our furniture. The reason I like my bed so much is because it's red and green and yellow. And soft. Not scratchy and dry like brown is. I keep threatening to take a giant bucket of any color paint that isn't brown to all of these paneling walls, just to keep from going brown-crazy, and Josh tells me to just wait, he is sheet rocking them any second. If I would quit spending the sheet rock money on shoes. BUT THE SHOES AREN'T BROWN. Which is probably the biggest reason I got them. I just need less brown in my life. So I take a lot of naps. But maybe, if I go clean my brown room, Josh will let me asbestos-poison myself. Just maybe.

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