Getting Things Done

Liz Claiborne Dress, Ann Taylor Loft Jacket

Liz Claiborne Dress, Ann Taylor Loft Jacket

I’ve been stalling—since I don’t have anything new to report, other than that I have added some wonderful items to my eBay store, which are selling at about the same leisurely pace as the items previously offered up, which is to say, hardly at all, but I am setting about doing some actual research on eBay-store success, so that my star can turn orange, or whatever color the next rung up is, and so that I can tell you in good conscience to make my eBay store your one-stop spot to Christmas-shop.

Meanwhile, I thought to entertain you with this bit of nonsense that I penned after it was discovered that rats were living under and behind the shower in my apartment. The solution to the problem was slow and smelly, in that it was decided to try throwing rat poison on the problem, the effect being the presence of live rats and dead rats comingling under and behind the shower, inasmuch as the rats were entering from outside through a fist-sized hole in a sewer-vent pipe. Eventually, the bathroom was gutted, the pipe was repaired, shiny white subway tile graced the walls, and a working shower and commode were installed. The contractor also installed a sink but didn’t have the proper hardware to hook it up, so he wandered off one afternoon to look for the hardware and apparently took a wrong turn and ended up in Bimini and decided to stay there.

Bimini Island from Space (NASA)

Bimini Island from Space (NASA)

Various other odds and ends remained unfinished as well. I tried to be patient. My landlord is a church—a very lovely old church whose members, when they are not being trustees, are charming and compassionate people, so, having used up my quota of bitching and moaning over the previous two months, I decided to try a charming and compassionate approach to getting the sink hooked up. Thus it was that I sent the following summary of my grievances to the trustees:

Eve’s Lament

Every morning when I wake
and scrape the crunchy layer of
cemented ooze, which coats my eyes, away
(in spring, when new and fulsome foliage
at its apogee begets an allergy attack)—
but I digress—each day I smack
my forehead and exclaim: Praise God! I’m sane,
alive, and whole, and richly blessed
with opportunity to love and learn and grow!

And so it is that I am slow to find, within
the glowing, teeming, singing, ringing,
symphony of life, a sour note—a petty sting
upon the senses, a distraction from the
undeniable attractions of an otherwise
felicitous and fortunate existence. For it’s
undeniable that when I listen
for the scratch and clatter
that, not many weeks into the
past, denoted (dare I say it?)
rats within these walls, I hear
no rodent feet, nor do I smell a rotting
rodent corpse, inhale detritus from the
onetime blighted bathroom floor,
or otherwise perceive the presence of the beastly
carnivores. Those fetid days of yore
are happily no more, and I am
grateful beyond measure.

BEFORE (simulation)

My Bathroom: BEFORE (simulation)

I treasure all the gleaming tile; it seems
to smile a greeting: “Welcome, Mary,
“to your shower. Aren’t you glad I’m
“here instead of in
“ Islamabad? Praise God, you need no
“longer trek across the miles to
“shampoo and to scrub.”
And while it does occur to me to
wonder who injected me with LSD,
and when—for tile, however bright,
is almost universally believed to be
inanimate, and tile conversing is unheard
of, so to speak—I must approve the sentiment, for
it is true that one’s own bathroom and
amenities related should be
celebrated, and I do.

And yet—forgive my mentioning the
lack of anything that’s needed to
achieve an utter inundation of unmitigated
ecstasy—as if our mother Eve, surveying
Paradise , and saying, “Oh, how nice,” were then to
set about bemoaning how the gardens
were, if anything, a little overgrown, and
shouldn’t there be baskets of begonias
over there?—
I wouldn’t be completely
candid if I didn’t mention how I think from
time to time upon the merits of a sink that
operates in all the customary ways;  and if I didn’t
share my fervent wish for running water in
this monument, which gleams in ineffectual resplendence
‘neath the mirror on the wall; or that the door
that leads into the hall might be restored to
something of its former elegance; that cracks
and crevices be filled, and towel rods installed, and
heat as well; and that the window might once
more be seated in its frame, and the unsightly pyramid
of plaster, rock, and possibly whatever might
remain of Jimmy Hoffa, be removed to southern Spain.

AFTER (simulation)

My Bathroom: AFTER (simulation)

Lame and self-indulgent is my plaint and
egocentric are my fervid wishes; still,
allow me to impart a further supposition here, to wit:
that it not always is sufficient just to not have
rats. Oh, I have not forgotten to be glad, but surely one
might aim for higher purposes than this, for
bliss does not consist of being varmintless
alone. Our spirits call us to a more ethereal perspective, I
suggest. And though I nightly rest in peaceful
and serene repose, now liberated from the
threat of those unwelcome guests returning
to relieve themselves, I hunger to achieve a
loftier objective: that I could invite, perhaps, a
friend or two to dine and that, when all the courses had
been eaten and the wine imbibed, and they excused
themselves to answer nature’s call, upon completion
they could wash their hands.

No more than this can anyone desire: a bathroom
as described above, that has a window, and a
finished wall beneath,
and the capacity therein to brush
one’s teeth.


May Whoever’s On Duty bless you and your endeavors, and protect your bathroom from infestation as well.



2 thoughts on “Rats!

  1. Pingback: Obama and Tonya3 « Diary of an eBay Store

  2. Pingback: What Are You Waiting For? « The Writing Queen

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