Pete's random thoughts

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One less box of junk

I have decided that every day I will try to sort out and dispose of one box of junk from my garage. My garage is full of stuff that belonged to dead people. Family members would store stuff in my garage at my old house or in the cellar of my old house, then die, leaving me with their boxes of random stuff. Much like useless things people pay to store at storage lockers, the vast majority of it is stuff that they didn't really want but didn't want to throw away just yet. When they died, I got stuck with it. As I sit and think about it, there is useless junk from at least five people out there. Yeah, there are a few family heirlooms and treasures mixed in, which is why I need to go through each box, but for the most part it is just junk...old ripped clothes that were meant to be mended someday, 1971 tax returns, old kitchenware, etc. For instance, the box (actually a trash bag) that I sorted today contained barrettes, some craft supplies, a half of a spiral bound notebook, a decorative broom looking thing that you'd hang on your front door in the fall if you were the sort of person who did that sort of thing (I am not), two blobs of pictures of someone else's kids that were water damaged in my damp cellar, an object that we think may have held a decorative candle at one time, a mini sewing kit, an obituary notice, a frisbee, some recipe cards, a pair of cheap sunglasses, a metal jar lid, and a Pink Floyd 8-track. Out of all of that, I'll use the notebook, put the sewing kit with my stash of sewing stuff, and save the obituary notice. The rest goes in the trash. It makes me wonder why anyone bothered to keep this stuff in the first place. Then it frustrates me that after it was stored in my cellar in Lowell for all of those years, I moved it 100 miles in a truck that I had to rent in order to get it to my new house up here in NH. Wasted effort, a wasted truck. We have lived here for 8 years now and all of this crap has been taking up a whole garage bay. If I can keep at it and work my way through this massive pile of dead people's useless junk, I will free up a place to keep my on useless junk. Isn't that what garages are for?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A visit from Paulie

My friend Paulie was here earlier today. We haven't seen him for a while. He stopped by for me to help him complete Form 1 paperwork to build a SBR AR15.

He's deteriorating physically and slipping a little mentally. Low oxygen supply to his brain due to arteries that are clogged with plaque and other sewage, plus diabetes. He forgets stuff. Aging is a scary thing. He needed to be directed to my bathroom, nearly led there, even though he has been here many, many times. For those who have never been here, our house occupies the 2nd floor over my shop. There are two bathrooms up there. One is the full bath and we call it the "blue bathroom", the other being a 1/2 bath/laundry room that we call the "yellow bathroom". To use the bathroom, we have to go upstairs into the house or just pee in the woods.

The bathroom. That is where it happened. Oh dear God, the humanity...what happened in the bathroom should have stayed in the bathroom!

The noises that came out of there were unearthly. There was moaning, there was talking, there was low grumbling, there was ooohing and aaahing. It was scary. It was unnerving. I've never heard the sort of noises that were coming out of that room. It was like there was some sort of satanic ritual going on in there. I didn't want to abandon the guy in there by walking away from the awkward scenario and going back downstairs to the shop just in case there was some kind of medical emergency involved.

The dining room is next to the blue bathroom. I just sat at the dining room table drinking my iced tea, staring at the fish tank, not quite sure what else to do. It was like the first time you have a conversation with a guy at a nude beach: you are super-self-conscious about maintaining eye contact and not accidentally looking down at your feet for fear somebody would think you were checking his junk out. I didn't want to be there, close enough to hear the drama that was going down in the next room, but at the same time, it would be rude and awkward for me to just walk up the stairs with him, then leave the house to return to the safety and comfort of the shop...especially if some of those sounds were indications that he was having a heart attack in my bathroom.

Then he came out. That means the door opened....and the wall of stench came out behind him.

It was nauseating. It was horrible. It was unhuman. It was as if the stench was an evil force that had a life of it's own. I felt the urge to flee, as I knew that an ordinary vent fan and even good quality air freshener spray could not compete with such a force.

We went downstairs to the cool, clean air of my shop to work on his paperwork. My eyes were watering, but I did my best to cover up my unease.

He had moved a chair up near my desk so he could see what I was doing (filling in info on a printable PDF form from the BATF website). At some point, I had to get up and walk by him, which meant he had to get up and move his chair for a minute. In standing up, he farted. The rush of hot gas hit was like when you walk past the outside of an air conditioner and are suddenly taken aback by the rush of hot air on an already hot day. My first thought was that the poor old guy had shit himself.

Then the fumes congealed into a more solid mass and began to move about the shop on it's own, without being centered on him. It wandered around, a pocket of evil, moving first near my desk, then over towards the shop fridge, then back to my desk again, as if it were looking for a place to settle down and make a nest for itself.

For all I know, it is still hiding on the other side of the shop fridge, lying in wait to ambush me if I walk over to me tool chest in the corner. Oddly, none of the stench clung to him. If you have ever been in a cow barn, even if you don't touch anything in there, you still will carry a telltale odor of cow with you when you leave. I don't understand why a cloud of flatus like the one that he ejected into my shop didn't leave any trace of itself about his person. Maybe it did, but it was overshadowed by the mass of offending gas that ran off across my shop like an evil little goblin after being expelled from his colon.


An hour has gone by. Now he has gone back to his house to get his insulin shot. I have to go to the bathroom, but am a little scared to go up there. I'm seriously considering hiking out to the outhouse that is near the campsight instead of going up there and chancing running into "it".

I have an unsettling feeling that if I go up to the blue bathroom, the seat will still be warm and the water in the toilet will still be bubbling with carbonation...maybe with a green fog floating around up there like something from a horror movie. You know how that goes: the green fog swirls around, then suddenly turns into a leering evil face. This fog would probably be brown.

I think I'll bring a gun...maybe a gas mask...


Well, I did it. I used the blue bathroom.

It was eerie and nerve wracking, like visiting the scene of a fatal accident at a place you know well. Yeah, you know something bad happened there and you brace yourself for experiencing something unpleasant and fully expect to see a chalk outline of a body, maybe even a bloodstain, but really hope that you don't and that the old familiar scene has not been forever changed by the horrific event that happened there.

The room had a slightly unfamiliar feeling to it, like it was somebody else's bathroom that just looked similar to mine. The seat felt different, like it was an old seat that had been worn out. I kid you not, the seat was loose.

A nervous glance around sent my mind reeling. There, sitting on the cabinet, was Caleigh's hairbrush. On the sink shelf, innocently standing in their holder, sat Wendy's and my toothbrushes. Will we ever be able to use these things again, knowing that they had been subjected to the epicenter of that blast of airborne fecal terror?

My fear is that the next time I go to use my toothbrush, all of these memories will come flooding back. I can only hope that there is no residual evil clinging like an aura to these innocuous objects that I had always taken for granted. It would be like buying a used car that was found in a garage in Chernobyl. Sure...the Russian authorities SAID it was safe and has no radioactivity lurking in the nooks and crannies, but can you really be sure?

My sanctuary, my safe, happy blue bathroom with the magazine rack and view of the forest out the window has been violated and is now unchaste.

Maybe it is time for a new toothbrush.