One more lament from Larissa…

Now that LARISSA TAKES FLIGHT: STORIES has officially launched you can read all of her adventures and musings in paperback form, but here’s an extra one for the weekend…

Larissa and Spring Cleaning

I don’t trust my mother’s new vacuum cleaner robot. It’s just one more way technology is covertly planning to make us dependent and take over the world. The solution is obvious, stay dirty, but my boyfriend doesn’t agree and hands me the mop while he takes up the toilet brush for our war against the bathroom, and I sigh but march after him because it was his house before it was mine and this is part of the pact of being in a relationship. .
I understand that there are germs I can’t see and dust mites could give me respiratory problems, but it’s hard to be concerned about the invisible. My boyfriend scrubs the bowl wearing yellow plastic gloves and says I could have said the same thing about the black plague. He’s researched the dangers of uncleanliness and tries to haunt me with tales of rats and influenza, but I say being too clean reduces your immunity to icky bacteria. Bacteria, along with technology, has always been plotting against us.
My boyfriend has a job in the produce department, which makes him feel ethically pure and lets him tell people when eggplant and tomatoes are on sale. He is used to the repetitive nature of cleaning, mopping up spills and footprints and putting out yellow signs to tell people the floor is wet, so if they slip they can’t sue the store.
I know the effort is useless. After I clean things will just get dirty again.
My boyfriend says it’s like those sand paintings monks do as the meditate, letting the grains slip through the fingers to form intricate mandalas that take half a day to create before they blow them away and form the next one. He says permanence isn’t the point, the point is the act itself, and he looks at me over the rims of his glasses like he thinks it’s my fault that I can’t find solace in mopping.
I never felt bad about dirt until my mother came to visit, because she guilted me into cleanliness like she did when I was a kid so I vacuum in a haze of remorse. Mom said I’d feel different about cleaning when I got older, I’d notice dirt like she did. That radar never kicked in, so I was born without it or mine is just defective. She loves my philosopher boyfriend, says we make a great couple, but I’m sure half of this is because he believes in brooms.

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