Sunday, April 30, 2017

An Employee for the Pile

It's late and Blitz is bored. The poor kitten has about sixteen toys in various places around the house. He collects his favorites by the heater where he liked to sleep in my sewing room.

He's a thief.

The other day, I caught him with my favorite pen by the toilet in the bathroom. No one steals my favorite pen. I sanitized it, put it away, and caught him an hour later, gracefully choosing my favorite from among the other pens and carrying it away like a prize at the carnival.

Only he doesn't have hands, so he carried it in his mouth.

Still, the pride on his face was huge. Huge.

So, I was trying to finish up when I didn't really get a damned thing done today, just a little bit of productivity, a half an hour without being distracted by Instagram, Facebook, or Netflix. It's Saturday. There is Netflix.

As soon as I got settled in behind the wheel of the computer, Blitz went on the hunt. I could see it. Someone, probably me, will be missing something by morning. Mike abandoned camping gear in various piles around the house. He's camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend. Nick, our personal Boy Scout, stayed at home and only recently disconnected from the video game he was playing for six hours before I sent him to bed. No wholesome camping in the great outdoors (rain) for him. To his credit, he did some homework earlier. A pile of books, mechanical pencils, notebooks, and a calculator still sits in a pile on the floor. I have my favorite pens, a couple of binders heavier than Blitz, and my thumb drive. Damn. Not the thumb drive.

There is lots of potential for loss here. I wonder if Blitz works for the pile.

Do you know about the pile?

Somewhere in the Universe, there's a pile of all the lost items, the nail clippers, the scissors, the homework, the phone numbers, the keys. Everything, even the car that disappeared momentarily from the parking lot where you were sure you parked it. This pile is constantly in flux, removing and returning items, usually after you've gone out and bought a new whatever-it-was to replace the old whatever-it-was.

The pile is magnificent. It is complete at all times, containing everything that was ever needed, holding onto the most necessary items just past most levels of frustration. Remember fax and copy machines that never worked when you were in a hurry?

That was because of the pile.

Remember finding your keys in the freezer?

Also the pile.

People, this is not my own invention. Somebody else theorized the existence of the pile and I'm just promoting it. I'm going to go look that up. I can look anything up. Except for weird stuff. I don't want weird advertisements coming up on my computer. So, give me a minute, won't you?

Wow! George Carlin! I can't compete with George Carlin. That man was funny. Remember the list of words you couldn't say on TV? I miss George Carlin.

I should just quit and turn off the lights now. George Carlin. Holey moley.

But I can't, not just yet. Blitz is playing with a pink eraser in the kitchen. It must belong to Nick because it has six graphite holes on each side that probably go all the way through. Years ago, I told him I would not buy him a new eraser just because he had destroyed his old one by punching holes through it and drawing all over it so that whenever he tried to erase anything, a graphite smear spread over the page. So, he still uses this slightly damaged one from at least a year and a half ago. I know it's that old. I'm sure.

Last fall I went around the house and collected motley folders, only slightly dinged binders, loose lined paper that wasn't too crumpled, and notebooks that only had writing on five or six pages. I found an assortment of chewed pencils and a handful of pens from hotels we'd visited. I even found a couple of Master locks and coerced Nick to remember combinations until he hit on a correct one. I didn't buy any school supplies at all last fall. I was an absolute curmudgeon, now that I think about it, but that's what happens when a kid whines that he needs six different folders and you can pull out a basket that contains at least eighteen gently used folders, most of which are pink or purple but are still somehow unacceptable.

So, I know that eraser could be from middle school and is still in daily use.

Now, I have to stay up and watch the kitten to see if I can tell just exactly when that eraser, probably the only decent eraser in the entire house, goes onto the pile. It's like trying to stay awake to see the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. He's still having a good old time, tossing it into the air with his mouth, adding cat drool and tooth holes to what Nick will need to erase his homework next week. It's under the left leg of the piano now, next to Mike's computer bag with the ID tag that has new cat teeth imprints on it. It's not on the pile. Not yet. But Blitz isn't done pawing at that pink eraser and I'm pretty sure he works covertly for the pile.

I'm getting sleepy. It's about to happen. I just know it. I just can't stay awake, not one minute longer.

Thank you for listening, jb

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