Brian took the kids camping this weekend so I could have some writing time. I'm trying to finish up a personal essay piece about canoeing and relationships for the Community Observer and haven't been able to finish a paragraph before a small person interrupts me with a request for a beverage. I am beginning to think there is something wrong with my kids in their perpetual need for beverages.
But this weekend, I am free from my tot-tail (as opposed to cock-tail) waitress role and can sit at the computer until my butt gets numb.
Of course, one can not write the entire 48 hours the kids are gone so some diversions are necessary. And I'll tell you folks, I know how to have fun!
I decided to clean and wax the floors.
Before you mark me up as an obsessive compulsive, let me explain that the floors in this house have not really been cleaned or waxed in the 7 years I have lived in this house and I strongly suspect that they weren't treated very well in the 8 years prior to my appearance after my husband bought the house. These old oak floors have seen a lot of traffic in the almost 100 years they have been down and we certainly haven't treated them with the respect they deserve.
Now that I have established the floors' needs and our neglect I'll take on the question "why this weekend?" When liberated from ones children, couldn't I come up with something a little more, well, fun? Go to a movie? Invite some childless friends over and relish the feel of an uninterrupted conversation?
Those things sound nice, but getting down on my hands and knees and cleaning and rubbing wax into the floors then buffing them to a shine fulfills some other need in my psyche.
I remember reading a forward to one of Jeanette Winterson's books in which she declared that in order to write, one must get rid of all dingy underwear. Despite being in an impoverished-artist state, she threw away all her graying underwear and went out and bought bright colored underpants. When she washed them out in the sink and hung them to dry around the apartment, she felt like she was accompanied by a flock of energizing parrots. And she felt the words pour forth.
That's kind of how I feel about the floors. No one else is going to know the charge you get by wearing hot pink undies when you are sitting down writing. No one will notice that my kitchen floor now shines for the first time in my residency. But I know and this sense of external brightness and order makes me feel like I can create clean, organized prose. So bye bye muddled mess of words and hello cleaned, waxed, and buffed paragraphs!
Oh, and I gotta tell you, it is actually pretty fun to wax a floor at 11:30 PM with a big glass of red wine and Bob Marley blasting on the stereo.