Friday, October 01, 2004


...So I Can Clean My Garage...

There's something purifying about cleaning out a garage. Its a whole carthartic process that leaves one feeling cleansed and fulfilled...I think the secret lies in the multiple levels a genuine garage clean operates at: first there's the sense of achievement at having accomplished something truly significant - what seems like a mountain is conquered! Then there's the opportunity to reminisce as memories are triggered - places, associations, people - some of these you keep as a souvenir of your life...others once retained as souvenirs are this time consigned to the trash. Third, there is the discovery of that genuinely useful thing (as opposed to the aforesaid crap which is not) you forgot you owned . Its like finding a great bargain on something you've always wanted! It feels like you've just got this great thing for free - the trick is to store it somewhere where you will actually gain a benefit...Then there's the more mundane satisfaction that comes from cleaning beneath the clutter and the disturbingly OCD tendency to stack everything using whatever idiosyncratic indice seems helpful. A friend of mine and his wife recently organised their books into alphabetical category and author...and then by publication date...I guess sometimes they must just get a hankering to read something from 1982...

So I am excited about what lies ahead today - this is only enhanced by a once in a blue moon council-organised inorganic rubbish collection next week! This is largely an exercise in redistribution of wealth as the haves lay out their cast offs for the have nots - anything that is leftover is picked up by the council. Its a strange phenomenon - I never know whether to feel a sense of pride that my trash is good enough to steal or a sense of guilt that my lifestyle expectations are higher than they need be.

My wife looks at me strangely as my voice betrays my excitement: "Cleaning the garage on your day off - how exciting for you..." She doesn't yet believe. She will.


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