Ptolemy's mind is not always in the present and his apartment is a mess. No, that doesn't describe it. In fact, reading this made my mom's garage seem eligible for a spread in Better Homes and Gardens. Let me give you the picture.
"What is that smell?" Robyn asked him.
"I don't know. There's parts'a the house I cain't get into anymore. The bathroom, half the kitchen. I ain't been deep in the bedroom since before what's-his-name, uh, Reggie, would come."
"You got a bedroom an' you sleepin' under a table?"
. . .
"Don't go in there," Ptolemy said when Robyn opened the door to the bathroom.
"I got to, Mr. Grey," she said. "If I'ma be comin' here an' looking' aftah you I got to have a toilet to go to."
While Ptolemy tried to think of some other way he could have Robyin's company and keep her out of the bathroom, she opened the door and went in.
"Oh my God," she said. "What is this?"
A large wad of blackened towels flew out from the doorway and landed with a thump on the small bare area of the crowded floor.
Ptolemy covered his face with his hands.
"You got suitcases in the bathtub," Robyn called out. "An' there's black stuff growin' in the commode. There's, oh my God, oh no. . ."
The kitchen and the bedroom have similar problems. But soon Robyn takes Mr. Grey to the hardware store and buys a bunch of cleaning equipment and garbage bags. And some bug bombs. They go to a motel for two nights while the bug bombs are killing the cockroaches and other vermin in the house and then she spends five days cleaning the apartment.
Five days. That's all. I was embarrassed. I've been fighting the clutter wars at a downright leisurely pace. I've even got a clutter war tag on the blog.
Five days. I need to set some deadlines for making room in this house. Mind you, our commodes have no evil black gunk nor are there suitcases in the bathtubs. There's just one room downstairs which has been a staging area for things moving out of the house. The garage is the next way station for outgoing junk.
Five days. OK, now I'm getting serious. And while most of you probably don't care about any of this, posting it, I hope, will force me to speed up the pace and really get the garage and downstairs storage room into much more aesthetic and usable space.
An hour tonight in the garage. It's not a lot, but it's a start. I find taking pictures of big jobs before I start, helps remind me when I'm done for the day, that I actually have accomplished something. (I hope you can tell which is the before and which is the after picture.)
I still have to figure out where to get rid of a couple of old computer printers. OK, thanks for indulging me here.
By the way, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey isn't a great book, but it's good, and it did get inside the mind of a 91 year old who is having troubles staying in the present. As a youngster myself, I can't judge the accuracy, but it did make me think about what the world might look like when my brain isn't always functioning right.