a Suzuki day

I have to clean a new apartment today…and it is disgusting. How can people live like this? So oblivious to what they’re doing to their environment? Everything is caked in grime and dust. The tub is black with hair dye and exfoliation gunk is clogging up the pipes. The kitchen is so covered in grease it takes me two hours to scrub the stove top alone and I still can’t get some of it out despite my elbow grease. My boss tells me to use heavier cleaners. They give me a headache and a cough.

No sign of recycling. She sleeps on her satin cover pillows and quilt (not washable, not a duvet) without a sheet. She leaves sweat marks and scratches and has bled over much of it. Scattered around the rooms I come across all possible bodily fluids save breast milk, and only because this female is not lactating. I am unclear how or why this woman, in her own home, no sign of a child or man around, managed to leave an incredible amount of urine spilled all over her bathroom floor. But cleaning it up, I become covered in the stench. I can’t tell where. In my hair or my clothes. Great. Just great. I want to leave immediately to wash, but I can’t.

Make up is smeared on the furniture. Towel racks are busted off the wall. The dryer vent is plugged. The vacuum has a broken neck. (my only surprise? This means she must have tried to use it) In the dryer, she still has a load. This woman threw in her wired and cupped expensive black lacy bra and panties with her white thick towels: turning the lingerie pilled and bent and the towels grey.

What shocks me is – the size of her! Judging from her clothes – she is a tea cup human. Maybe 4′ 10″, 85lbs. How can such a teensy tiny woman create so much destruction? I walk into the living room to dust and notice a pile of books on the table…she’s in the mining industry.

No doubt.

I stuff my rags and buckets to leave and hiss while covered in her piss, “Leave my country alone”.

Hell, but someone hired her to be here. Someone flew her over.

In the elevator, of course, we stop not once but three times. It takes a lot to humiliate me. I smell so bad I say to strangers, “Sorry about the pee, I was working with a child”. Which is sort of true. A big f’ing baby.


image from globalresearch.ca

I keep thinking of the pictures on the front of the mining books and my mind spins from there, gaping holes, razed trees, smoke stacks, oil spills, land fills, the mess the mess the mess. Finally I burst through the lobby doors and into the fresh air where I am upwind of myself and I trot along with my buckets and a load of her trash, my cheeks burning hot. I see the blue sky, the beautiful reaching trees, the front stoops with tulips popping their heads through the ground, a community garden off of Davie and Burrard…recycling bins, bicyclists…in my head is David Suzuki saying, “…You know, we’ve lost”.


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