Cleaning Hidden Clutter

I woke up this morning and my house still smelled of the chocolate cookies I had baked the night before. My sister (and her college friend) were still sleeping, and my mother had already embarked on her errand-running for the day.

It looked like the morning was all mine again.

I had planned to take my dog, Ruby, for a walk in the sunshine, but the sticky, humid “I-promise-I-will-pour-buckets-at-any-second” atmosphere out my bedroom window gently persuaded me not to do this.

What indoor activity then, could I do? Looking around my ostensibly tidy room, guilt rose in my chest. Inside those perfectly closed drawers was a behemoth of clothing that seemed to have a life of its own when I opened my drawers to get dressed. Seriously though, whenever I open my top drawer, socks tumble out jump out, begging for freedom. And the middle drawer… I feel like a authoritarian monarch oppressing his people when I jam my shirts in the drawer to close it. Or maybe I’ve just taken too many English classes at Brown and feel the need to write metaphors about events in my life.

Cleaning was a nostalgic undertaking: memories attacked my consciousness as I discovered the shirt I wore on my 16th birthday, the tee that was “good luck” for my SAT exams, the first pair of shorts I bought with my own money and a tank top I bought at a Neon Trees concert. I started thinking about my summers from my younger years, remembering my experiences at summer camp, later as a summer camp counselor, as later doing research at UMaine. I found old one piece bathing suits and reminisced on the 8 years I participated in my country club’s swim team. 

Finally I stumbled upon a shirt from Brown. Nostalgia pulled me back to my present role as a Brown student on summer vacation. Separating clothes to donate from clothes I’d wear, I put my drawers back together, and closed them without struggle.

As I closed them, I heard my sister walking to the bathroom: the ‘world’ woke up and my productive morning was complete.



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