Violence

“Life doesn’t fucking care, does it,” Tyrone thought to himself, as he carried another load of dirty laundry down the stairs to the utility room. He tried to ignore the stabbing pain which lanced through his left heel, into his ankle, each time he put his left foot down. “The laundry has to get done, so fucking suck it up, cupcake.”

His stomach growled, as he poured detergent in the washing machine. “Yeah, I know. Hungry.” For all he cared right then, he could starve. He remembered what happened when he ate breakfast that morning, the sudden, desperate rush to the toilet. How his guts came out his ass. “If I’m gonna fucking die every time I fucking eat,” he looked at his stomach, “You can fucking starve.”

He carefully placed the whites in the machine, balancing the load equally in a circle around the agitator. “You know you have to do this right, or the damn machine will go crazy when it gets to the spin cycle. Ka-whacka! Ka-whacka! Ka-whacka! And it’ll move all over the fucking room.” He checked to balance on the load, making certain he had it evenly balanced. “No mistakes, stupid. No mistakes.”

Once the washer was running, he limped up the stairs and made a stop in the bathroom. He sat on the toilet again, “Just to be safe.”

While the load was washing, Tyrone found his MP3 music player, stuffed its earplugs in his ears, and used its menu system to select his housework playlist, which started with “Violence Fetish” by Disturbed. “It’s time to bring the violence to the fucking dishes!”

It was his day off. Sunday. He didn’t work Sundays. At least, not officially. Sundays, he had to take care of all the things he couldn’t get done during the week. Dishes. Laundry. Housework. Mowing the lawn. All that shit.

He dropped the glass he was rinsing. It fell into the stainless steel sink causing a hell of a racket. Luckily, nothing broke. “Butterfingers!” he silently screamed at himself. “Be careful, idiot!” He picked the glass up, making certain he had a firm grip on it, and finished rinsing it, then put it in the rack in the dishwasher. He felt the familiar sharp twinge in his right wrist from his damaged ligaments and bones. He grimaced, and wrapped his left hand around his wrist. In a couple of seconds the pain faded. “Enough.” He resumed washing the dishes.

He finished clearing the sinks, and filling the dishwasher. He turned the washer on, found a glass, poured some root beer out of a 2 liter bottle, and took a chug. “Back to the laundry.”

“Move this load to the drier, then start the pants.” He opened the drier, then the washer, and started moving the wet whites into the drier. Leaning to the side to throw stuff into the drier caused his head to hurt. By the time he’d finished the transfer, he knew he had a headache forming, “I don’t have time for that.” He tossed a dryer sheet in, slammed the door, and turned the dryer on.

He forced himself to keep moving, getting the load of pants in the washer, and getting that started. Then, he took his glass of root beer to the medicine cabinet, where he pulled out the bottle of naproxen tablet. He took 2. “No time for a headache today.”

He pushed himself to the Family Room, where he cleared the floor. Then he ran the vacuüm across the carpet. To make certain he’d vacuumed up everything, he emptied the vacuüm, then did the carpet a second time. “Fucking cat hair!” He looked at the half filled canister on the vacuüm. “I can’t win.”

The Living Room, Dining Room, and hallway all fell to the vacuüm. “There. That’s that.” At which point, the dryer’s buzzer called to him. “Time to fold the whites!”

It was his day off. His Sunday. Like all his Sundays. When he didn’t work. When he spent the day doing laundry, and dishes, and housework. “Life sucks, but no one said it wouldn’t. Suck it up, buttercup. You’ve got work to do.”

Tyrone didn’t stop until he’d folded the last load of laundry. That night, he sat on the sofa, in front of the TV, watching whatever was on. He didn’t really care what was on, he had a TV, and by God, he was going to watch something. Anything.

He knew the next hurdle. Bed. “I don’t want to turn out the lights.”

He wondered if there was anything inside him. Or if he was a machine, going through the motions day after day. “Bring the violence,” he whispered. “Bring the violence.” Soon, it would be time for him to go to bed, and get ready for work the next day.

“That’s what it takes to survive.” He knew the truth of his life. Of everyone’s life. “Without the violence, nothing happens.”

Before he went to bed, he played his favorite Disturbed song once again.

“So tell me what am I supposed to be
Another god damn drone
Tell me what am I supposed to be
Should I leave it on the inside
Should I get ready to play”

He turned out the light, and started his nightly battle for sleep.


It’s April 26th, the 22th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 22nd of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter V. Tomorrow brings the letter W. I wonder what I’ll write for that.

Disciplined? Me?

There it was.
A note from her.
“You’re so disciplined!”
It started.

And I laughed.
Me?
Disciplined?
Since when?

But I thought a while.
I do that, you know.
Think.
It’s how I figure out
This world I never made.

I remembered as I thought.
All the times I’ve heard those words.
Through the decades of life
I’ve been blessed with.

And I finally understood.
It all fell into place.
Another puzzle piece
Made sense.

I would like to say
I’m not disciplined at all.
But I suppose I am
In my own way.

See.
There’s just so much
Other people
Just don’t know.

Let me ask about
Your kitchen sink.
Are there any dirty dishes,
Pots and pans,
And empty cans
In it?
How long have they been there?
Since this morning?
Since last week?
Will the kitchen sink be empty
When your day ends,
And you go to sleep?

Mine won’t.
It almost never is.
I have fits keeping up
With the dishes.

I try.
Gods, how I try.
And sometimes,
I get on a roll,
And get them done
Every morning.
For a week.

And then…
Well…
Things just don’t work out.
And I end up
With dishes in the sink.
Sometimes for several days.
Before I get around
To them.

When was the last time you swept
Your kitchen floor?
Last night?
This morning?
Hell,
Even once a week?

You know.
I can’t remember when
I last swept mine.
It’s been a while.
It’s something
That just slips my mind.

But I get to it
Every now and then.
When my feet tell me,
“I’m not walking in there
Again!”

Thursday was trash-day
In my neighborhood.
Put the trash bin out
By the curb.
And when the truck comes by
It all just goes away.

I’m mostly good at that.
I collect it up
And get it out.
Almost every Thursday.
But.
Every now and then.
I just hose that up.
I get the bin to the curb.
Just before the truck arrives.

And everything inside the house
Collects in the bin
For a whole week.

Silly me.

Then there’s laundry.
Oceans of it.
I’m betting you
Almost never
Run out of socks.
Or pants.
Or under-ware.
Unlike me.
I run out frequently.
Seems I just can’t keep up
With the laundry to be washed.

I end up with it
Piled mountain high
In the hallway downstairs.
Washing it all
At one time.

Even though I know
It would be easier
To wash and fold it
As I go.

Do you vacuum your carpets?
I’m not saying that I don’t.
I mean,
Just this week,
I cleaned the one in the Family room
Right up.
Vacuumed that sucker
Twice.

First time I’ve cleaned it
In two months…

Oh, yeah.
I’m disciplined.

I used to think
This was all bad.
I was such a failure.
Because everyone knows
You do those things
To take care of your home.
And your family.

And I felt like
I was broken.
As if something was wrong.
When I couldn’t keep up
Every day,
And every week,
With the things
Everyone else gets done.

But I’ve learned.

I’m not good at those things.
They’re hard for me to do.
It takes time.
It takes effort.
It’s hard work.
Other things I do
Are simple for me.

And that piece of the puzzle
That just fell into place?
That’s exactly what it says.
I do things
That I can do.
That I like to do.
That make me feel OK.
That make me feel good.

And then I do the things
I have to do.

Isn’t that what you do too?

It makes people feel good,
I suppose,
To have the perfect home.
Where not one single dish
Sits in the kitchen sink.
And you could eat an egg
Off the kitchen floor.

Some people,
I suppose,
Like the idea
Of the carpets being clean.
So you can’t even see
A single cat hair
Anywhere
On them.

And some people
Seem to like
That the laundry’s always clean.
That everything’s all folded,
Put away in drawers,
Or hung up in a closet.

I’ve even known some people
That collect the trash
Through their whole house
Ever single night.
And put it in the trash bin
Before they go to bed.

And I’m OK with that.
But that’s not me.

To me,
They’re disciplined.
And I’m a wild man.
With no rules.
And no discipline at all.

Me?
Disciplined?
Really?

Not one single bit
More than you.

I’m just different.
That’s all.