When I got home tonight, my Spidey Sense started to tingle. Things were not quite as I had left them this morning. For starters, the light switch at the door had been flipped up, something I never do. When I moved in more than a decade ago, I got into the habit of not touching that puppy because it controlled my answering machine. The answering machine has long since been moved, but the habit of never flipping that switch remains.
Yet, tonight, that baby was in the up position. Not good. The light in my entryway blew a couple of weeks ago, and since I'm not yet friends again with step stools (not until the back is much better, thanks) I crept along the hall in darkness to see if anything else was out of sorts. Almost immediately I tripped over a box of packing peanuts destined for the storage room -- another thing I figured I would just carry downstairs when the back was less cranky. This morning, the box had been in the kitchen, out of the way of Ms. Bad Balance.
And then, in the darkness, on my bookshelf, I saw it.
That little yellow slip of paper that tells you someone has been in the apartment to do maintenance.
I fumbled for the first working light and read the long message from Darryl, the plumber. He'd come to make sure the new kitchen faucet was working. Okay, that's fine. (The old faucet had suddenly sprung several leaks last week, flooding the kitchen and turning the sink into a lovely fountain.) But, dear god, he'd had to replace the tub handles.
See, when the back is cranky, the laundry piles up. Since the washer and dryer are in the basement, it takes a little more energy (and some arthritis rub) to get me up and down the stairs with a couple of loads of clothes.
And, this weekend, with the spine screaming at me, I'd gotten as far as turning the laundry into whites, light colors, and darks... all over the bathroom floor. And, I am ashamed to say, I hadn't emptied the bathroom trash on Sunday, either. Poor, poor, poor Darryl had to get up close and personal with my unwashed laundry, which hovered, unclean, in three piles like some textile Cerberus, right at the edge of the tub, surely terrorizing the poor guy.
I am so embarrassed. I really meant to tidy up yesterday, but time got away from me. And heat packs and ibuprofen were my best buds.
I should bake Darryl a cake -- except now, he probably wouldn't take anything I'd prepared by hand. He probably thinks I'm a total bottom dweller. I forgot the kitchen sink had pots soaking in it and I'd burned microwave popcorn yesterday, so the whole place had this awful acrid odor to it.
Christ, he probably thought I was trying to kill him with some modern day, apartment dweller version of mustard gas. Maybe I should just get him a gift card as an apology.
Guess who's doing laundry tonight?