I missed the eclipse a few nights ago because I was cleaning up a mess my dog made. It wasn’t a critical or toxic mess, just a toy ripped into such small pieces that the stuffing looked like molecules. I had been cleaning for much of the day, deep spring cleaning, just like I’d been doing most weekends since February. I was making messes then scrubbing them away. Why was I suddenly being so domestic? Why are all my cabinets and drawers more organized than Martha Stewart’s? Well, I was worried about some loved-ones in really tough situations. With nothing else to do, I cleaned compulsively. I offered to come and clean some friends’ homes, but they politely refused, probably because they recognized the touch of mania in my eyes and realized I’d be there for weeks vacuuming dust out of couch cushions.
I am angry with myself now. I poo-pooed the eclipse, deciding instead to sort out my sock drawer. Then, after a dear friend texted me a reminder, I rushed out along back roads, chasing the sun. I was too late, of course. No ring of fire for me.
The domestic space feels like a trap. There is always something that needs mending or making or cleaning there. There is a TV to watch, a Super Nintendo to play, and a dog to walk. I don’t like this adult life I’ve stumbled into. I don’t like washing dishes, and I don’t like getting stuck pretending that this is real life. I don’t like responsibility because it can very easily take precedence over joy, creativity, experience, awe, and wonder.
I don’t want to miss the next opportunity, so I’m coming around. And if you come around to my house, don’t expect it to be clean. I’m doing better things.