Sorry for not posting in so long. I know some have given up on me, and rightly so. I can’t fully explain why I’ve fallen off. I am busy, but it’s mostly because this isn’t where my head is at. I don’t know where my head is at—all I can say is it’s apparently not in a writing place. Unfortunately, I can’t tell my head what to do most of the time. If only I could. But here’s a little something just to show I’m still alive.
One of the reasons I am behind on my writing is that I’ve taken on a barrage of projects around the house. I find it hard to turn my attention to work when the house is in disarray, and this house defines disarray.
Part of that is me. Remember the character Pig-Pen in Charlie Brown? There’s a classic strip in which he starts off perfectly neat and tidy; in the second frame, a wisp of hair comes loose, and in the next his shoelace comes undone on its own. By the final frame, Pig-Pen is his usual messy self, without having moved an inch. I can relate to that. I seem to come undone naturally (figuratively and literally), and in a house the size of mine, that means a big mess.
Recently, that meant a couple of room-sized messes, including my office, which had deteriorated to the point where I could barely walk into it, let alone work there.
So I went on a cleaning rampage, which included making the office inhabitable. (I even filed.) During much of this cleanup, a song kept going through my head: Neil Young’s “A Man Needs a Maid.”
When I first heard the song (back in college last century…how do you like that notion?), I thought it was sexist.
I was thinking that
maybe I’d get a maid
Find a place nearby
for her to stay.
to keep my house clean,
Fix my meals and go away.
But now I’ve gained a deeper understanding of it. I take it to mean, “I do want someone in my life, but only for the ways she can help me.”
During my cleanup, I came across so many things that needed tending—the clogged drain in the kids’ bathroom sink, the drip in their shower, the pull in my tub that makes the water come out of the showerhead (there must be a name for that thing). There are the electrical problems, and the holes in the wall in my bathroom, the nail heads around the garage that need puttying and painting, the weeds in the gardens, and so on.
Like Neil, I could use a maid, but on top of that, I need a handyman, and not the kind James Taylor is talking about in “I’m Your Handyman.” Screw fixing the broken heart…Fix the toilet in the downstairs bathroom that doesn’t drain properly unless you hold down the handle long enough.
I didn’t love being married, but one of the good things about it was that these things were attended to promptly and properly. And as much as I’ve sworn off men and relationships for now, there is a certain appeal in the notion of having someone in my life who can do those things. At the moment, the notion of a relationship and all the complications it brings to a life that is currently pretty stable is not on my must-have list, but Neil Young’s “maid”? Fix my meals, snake my toilet, give me a kiss and don’t ask anything else of me? That just might make me come out of romance retirement.
I’m not truly that cynical, and one of my worst traits is that I won’t ask anyone for anything, so don’t even dream that I would or could ever do anything like that. It’s just where I’m at for now—it’s the music playing in my head.