The Janitorial Crew

May 13, 2016

Today is just like any other day.
I walk down to the kitchen, holding a crusty dinner plate, a large mug with used tea bags, two empty water jugs, and a filmy blender bottle. Also a napkin full of orange peels.

I’ve gotten good at carrying all these things, on what seems like a never-ending staircase. It’s a practice in being present, I tell myself. In reality, I’m simply not a fan of doubletrips. It doesn’t matter what I’ve left behind (plates, groceries, babies), I refuse to go back. Just like that hallway scene from Harold & Kumar. “No, we’ve gone too far.”

I have thick black headphones on, with some loud podcast piping into my ear canals, keeping me company on this journey of a couple dozen steps. I’m kinda lost in my head while the autonomous body does what it needs to do.

As soon as I reach the sink, my hands get to work. They turn on the faucet, adjust the temperature, and squirt soap onto the blue sponge. Good robot.

Suddenly my eyes notice something black scurrying across and sends an s.o.s bullet train to my amygdala. My hand drops the sponge, and the body jerks back a step. Heart racing, adrenaline coursing.

My conscious mind is annoyed at having to pay attention.
What the fuck was that little thing?

I squint and notice a single brave black ant.
This little guy scurries across the edge of the sink and almost into the splashing water. He doesn’t care about me nor the hot water. His little antlers are probing about, looking for food crumbs.

I put my face as close to him as possible, intimidation tactics. He could care less. There was a time in my youth I would have picked him up and flushed him down the drain, without even thinking twice. Cold hearted. I’ve become soft over the years and I think he knows.

Anyways, he sniffed around for a while, then went about his way. Stopping at another spot on the counter to lick something invisible up.

Our environment is full of life, I got to thinking.
There are lifeforms in the air, the sink, on the counter, in the carpet, and the dark recesses of the house. There’s life on our skin, in our nose, ears, mouth, and a whole lot of em in our gut.

In a rarely used bathroom in my basement, there are two clear-skinned spiders. One big, one small.

They hang around on the floor by the throne.
The only reason I noticed them was because of their tiny dark poop. Whenever I come in, they either hide behind the plunger or nowadays they stay right where they are. Like Enzo and Big Cass, these spiders know that I’ve gone s a w f t, saaawfffft.

I have no problem with them and they leave me alone. They are the little janitors of the basement, I tell myself. Rounding up bugs from I have no idea where.

Life seems to be a symbiotic relationship between all the parts.
To be kept in balance.
Nuke some of them with a spray or antibiotics and the other guys will get out of control.