Housework is anathema to me. I am literally and metaphysically allergic to it. The only slightly larger waste of time I can even think of offhand might be building sand castles on the beach as the tide is coming in. To me it is pointless, petty and doing it is only a harbinger of what I imagine hell must be like. So, of course, I live in chaos and a bit of filth. Yet I try to keep up some sort of pretense of domesticated life when people come over, an event I attempt to thwart at all costs but which sometimes conspires beyond my best lack of welcoming. For example, one lovely Saturday afternoon my lover dropped by. He should have known better by that point in our relationship than to do the "drop-in" but he was playing dumb, I suspect, to get a gander at how his little mystery woman lived behind the door she always kept carefully closed. Not only had he broken all the rules by doing dropping in unannounced, but, horror of horrors, he had brought his two young adolescent sons whom I barely knew having only met them once briefly. What a way to make a good impression! I listened to them calling for me on the other side of the door, and looked around my destroyed living room which led to the mutilated bathroom and then to my slaughtered bedroom. My Gawd, what was I to do?. It was too late to pretend I wasn't home. They had heard me talking on the phone, unsuspecting guests, when they came up the stairs. What a fool I had been. Now I was stuck. I needed to be resourceful or I was about to be thoroughly humiliated. A gleaning of an idea came to me. I messed up my hair and pulled my blouse out from the waist of my pants. I picked up a nearby floorful of items and threw them across the room. Then I was ready to face the music which was definitely in the genre of punk. "Oh hello Jim. Hello boys. How are you all?" Their six eyes were wide as platters as they frankly took a good look at the unravelings of my mind and the physical form of the ennui of my domestic spirit. The younger boy muttered "Holy S**t" under his breath but I heard him clearly and took it as my cue to go into my unrehearsed act. "Isn't this something, boys? Can you believe this? I came home last night and this is what I found. I don't even know what all is missing yet. I'm afraid to find out. What kind of animals could tear up a place like this? What were they looking for I wonder? I just can't believe it!" Their slack jaws drew shut and their eyes focused on me with something that looked like pity. It was working. Hot damn! It was working. "Someone broke in here last night?" asked the slower of the boys. "Did you call the police?" "Oh, yeah, sure I did, but they were long gone. The police didn't do much because I am not even sure if they stole anything yet. I mean my computer is still here, and my TV and my stereo." Jim decided to step in and be my hero. "Well, you are coming to stay at our house tonight. You can't stay here in this mess. Who knows if they'll come back?" Uh ho. I realized I had gone too far. I wasn't ready to leave my happy home where I could roll in my own mess like a pig wallows in mud. I mean I'm quite comfortable in my squalor. I sure didn't want to leave. "Oh, I'll be fine. They're not coming back. For what? They already know there's nothing here to steal. They've had their fun trashing the place." The older boy spoke up, "Well, they sure did trash the place. I never saw anything like this before." "I know," I replied. "Ain't it a shame." I hate housework.

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