Friday, April 09, 2004

Penitence

These past couple of days, I’ve been cleaning, washing, cooking. . . general household stuff. Very therapeutic.

My cousin was able to purchase two bookshelves from Makro, but these babies required assembly. Last Wednesday, I had bought a few screwdrivers and a hammer from TrueValue hardware, and it took a while to choose the right ones for the job. The shelf boards came with screws and nails and a tiny instruction sheet that needed decoding. The finished product turned out pretty impressive. Since the room was hot and humid, I took off my shirt and wrapped the neckline over my forehead, karpentero-style, to prevent my sweat from drizzling the beech wood. I spent about an hour hammering and screwing to build the two shelves. Now my comics and books sit nice and comfy in their new home.

A disaster, however, fell upon some of my cousin’s books. The box where she had been keeping them had been mysteriously invaded by … um… worms. Literal bookworms that found their way through the soft spot on the floor where the box had been placed. A portion of the box bottom was eaten away, and a horde of the little beasties devoured chunks off some of the tomes. My cousin, who considers books her life, gave the squirming horde a taste of oblivion via a spray of lethal rubbing alcohol. The greatest casualty: A rare signed copy of Jose Garcia Villa’s poetry collection.

This afternoon, I drenched my bathroom with muriatic acid to prep the tiles for major cleaning, then proceeded to fix my room. With the bookshelf in place, it was easier to organize the rest of the stuff. Going through my packed boxes revealed more stuff that needed disposing, making me realize how much I hold on to stuff that presently holds little relevance. A couple of hours later, my room looks really spiffy, though there are still a number of items on my “to get” list. I’ll deal with them tomorrow.

Cleaning the bathroom is fun, though very exhausting, especially the part where you have to brush away the dark build-up between the tiles. It amazed me how this bathroom can get so dirty in a couple of months, considering that I am the only soul who uses it. I changed the light bulb, too, as there’s something vertiginous about yellow light.

So with two days left in the long break, I’m going to take it a little bit easier. Get a few more things for the room. Start drawing a bit and reading a bit. Do some planning. Start some projects and finish others. Even deal with my email lag. This is a Holy Week break that involved me in a bit of penitence, but it’s a break that was very well-spent.

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