The crazy bitch that I am, I’ve got a vacuum cleaner’s got a headlight on it. I never even knew it. Presumably, this is a light for cleaning house after it gets dark, right?
But don’t tell me. Do not give the game away. I’ve got to catch up with these little things I’ve been missing for so long… while I have been the crazy bitch who’s victimizing Dana.
And this little switch right here – push it up, push it down – this here’s the on/off switch. Momma didn’t raise no fool. You push it like this and, excuse me – YOU PUSH IT LIKE THAT AND GET THE EXPECTED RESULTS! Would you look at that? I might’ve figured all this out already! What was it we were paying that housekeeper for?
I’m talking back in the days when I was victimizing Dana.
So crazy bitch that I am, I push the vacuum cleaner – systematically – all around across the master bedroom floor. The headlight shows the way. And the carpet, well, the carpet’s looking better already. All the individual little, um… blades? shags? strands? Well, they’re all pointing in the same direction now. And that’s gotta be least half of what you vacuum a carpet for.
I’m humming with the vacuum cleaner and it sounds like My Bloody Valentine. Or like Seefeel. Or like Oval. Or like any of those old Nineties bands who made music that sounded like vacuum cleaners.
I am harmonizing with the hum.
I turn on the blender in the kitchen for a little background support. We’re an avant garde barbershop quartet – Crazy Bitch and the Common Household Appliances. A trio still, but we’re considering adding the dishwasher.
And I’ve got the lights turned out and I’m naked but I can still see where I’m going because this here vacuum cleaner’s got a headlight on it, see?
And I have shaved my pubic hair into a truly fascinating design.
And I could’na done any of this back in the days of only a few weeks ago, back when I was still the crazy bitch who was victimizing Dana.
Zhroom, zhroom, zhroom! Me and my vacuum cleaner, power couple that we are, we are making tracks but appear powerless to, um – well, we seemingly lack the requisite combined capacity to – to lift, to suck, to remove this one scrawny red thread from the surface of the master bedroom carpet. I think it’s a thread come from Rachel’s Sesame Street t-shirt.
Rachel’s Sesame Street t-shirt doesn’t live here anymore…
Anyway, the thread’s not budging.
Zhroom, zhroom, zhroom! Nothin’…
Zhroom, zhroom, zhroom!
Now if this here thread – this solitary lonesome old thread – if it is not getting cleaned by my vacuum cleaner, then what is? My vacuum cleaner says it’s got “2X Cyclonic Action,” and my vacuum cleaner has never lied to me. Not in the damn near fifteen minutes we’ve been working together.
I thought this was a relationship based on honesty – that powerful bond of trust that can only be formed between a vacuum cleaner with a headlight on it and the crazy bitch who used to spend all of her time victimizing Dana.
Crazy bitch that I am, I turn the vacuum cleaner off. Pull the cord right out of the cracked wall socket Zhrooo-o-o-o-o-oom… And the headlight goes out and I’m standing in the dark. Naked. You can’t see my fascinatingly-shaved pubic hair design now.
The bathroom light reveals previously unacknowledged bells and previously unacknowledged whistles on my vacuum cleaner with the headlight on it.
Like this. This here switch which reads… “Carpet or hose”…
Seriously? Carpet or hose?
Is this machine mocking me? Is this some kind of… homophobic slur? Is my vacuum cleaner with the headlight on it taking a backhanded smack at my sexuality? Carpet or hose?
Carpet, mother fucker! Carpet!
I might be confused, lonely, and depressed, but I’m not that confused, lonely, and depressed.
And now it’s ten seconds later and the red thread’s gone, having been sucked into red thread vacuum oblivion. Never to be heard from again.
Crazy bitch that I am, me and this vacuum cleaner with the headlight on it, we make a pretty good team. Maybe we oughta take this show on the road. Clean carpets in big top tents for crowds of paying onlookers. And the crowds’ll come from miles around! They’ll say, “Look, Ma! Look! Come see what it is that Katy’s learned to do in the two weeks since she stopped victimizing Dana!”
I mean, finally I have lived so long that I am able to say I have vacuumed the master bedroom. Could you?… can you?… do you even dare to try and imagine what the next two weeks might hold?
[**The phrase “Hyde, Jekyll-ized” comes from the song “Gopher Guts” by Aesop Rock, as will the title of every part of this series.]