When I was a young man, I saw no need to keep my room clean or tidy. As long as there was a clear path to the door leading to the rest of the house from my bed, and a path from the bed to the closet, I was happy. I knew pretty
much where everything I needed was, and a quick sniff would reveal if I was holding clean or previously worn clothing.
For years I happily collected and very happily cleaned nothing. Then I met the woman who was to become my wife. She Who Must Be Obeyed lived with not a wisp of hair out of place, and dirt was something that belonged in the trash
can. Her philosophy was that if you hadn't used it in six months, there was no room for it in the home. By that standard, most politicians should be required to recycle their brains. But I digress. Get used to it.
How could I, "The Trash Man," woo this lovely woman? The piles of stuff had to go. All of the dirty dishes, bottles and cans, old take out containers, it all had to go. I had to organize school papers, old books and other doodads.
I had to start folding and hanging cloths! Earlier I had mentioned paths between the bed and the door and the closet. Imagine teetering, three foot tall piles of records, books, papers and boxes occupying all ares not called "paths." That was what my room
looked like. Now add in plates, bowls, soda bottles and cans all with varying degrees of Mycological experiments proceeding on them.
Armed with cleaning rags, 409, Windex, trash bags galore and unbounded optimism, I tackled the heap. It took two days to clean and declutter. Near the end of the second day I had made it to the bookcase next to my bed. It was
a very hot day, and we didn't have air conditioning. I was sitting on my bed looking through a pile of old papers and diligently getting rid of much of my past life. I absent mindedly reached up for my bottle of Pepsi and took a big old swig of it to slake
my burning thirst. But something was wrong. It was warm, and my mouth was full of furry, chunky things. Oh no! I had accidentally grabbed one of the mold experiments in progress! "Don't throw up!" I commanded myself. "You just cleaned in here."
I will never forget that experience. It taught me something. It taught me to be clean. Unlike other horrific events I had inflicted upon myself, I learned to be clean. Not fanatically clean, but acceptably clean. It did not teach
me to be organized. Unlike a pig, which has no need to be organized, I
see no need to be organized. Though I must admit, if I had been better organized, I wouldn't have eaten a mouthful of green, furry Pepsi.