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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 7 page 09

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Then I arrived at the Rgnlb bookcase, which I keep close to the full-length window so anybody probing my 28th-floor unit through their personal astronomical telescope will ascertain that my décor is damn close to the IKEA ideal.

It was there at the bookcase that the emotional snags started to slow me down. How, after all these years together, could I discard Nineveh: the Good Times, the Bad Times and all the other volumes that have shaped my worldview? Which is another reason I don't have as much time to talk to the cactus as I would like.

Anyhow, you can detect between the lines that the Getting Rid of Stuff Plan was making me feel depressed. Not clinically depressed, just run-of-the-mill depressed. Glum, I guess. It’s hard to toss stuff out. You have to confront the transience of things, including the transience of your beliefs and objectives. Like when I started to write this article I had the mission of producing a mildly amusing piece, but now it seems to be more introspective all of a sudden.

So I decided to rent a maid.

I don't know, maybe I called the wrong agency. The ad did look a bit saucy. She had long legs and I especially liked the way she bent over the glass fruit with her feather duster. The point is, I came to the conclusion that for years I had been doing everything a reasonable person could do to achieve Spring Cleaning 2009, and still the program was far from attaining its goal. It was an albatross around my neck, dragging me down when really all I wanted was to enjoy life like any normal person.

That brought me to May of this year. What better time, with the long cold winter behind us, with the birds trilling and the trees chlorophylling, what better time to drop the rusty old clean-up program in the figurative trashcan and usher in a sparkling new clean-up program?

The first thing I'm going to do is call the ex and tell her to pick up the juicer or else hasta la vista!.

Spring Cleaning 2009 is finished, kaput, gone to see its maker. All hail Spring Cleaning 2014! Given my learning curve, I expect an accelerated completion date this time.

Also, you know — and I'm not backsliding here, I just want to point out — there is an alternative. If I leave the dust alone, it’s only a matter of time — perhaps a long time but still just a matter of time — until it migrates into somebody’s living room on some planet in, say, Centaurus A. Then it’ll be their problem.