Saturday, December 11, 2010

This is About a Vacuum, but Not Really

I vacuumed my apartment today, which I found amusing, because this is my vacuum cleaner:

Majestic, isn't she?  I took it from my grandfather's house after he moved in with my parents.  It still works perfectly, and it was free, which more than makes up for what it lacks in style.  I have no idea how old this things is, I'm guessing it was my grandmothers.  That makes it at least 20-25 years old.

This blessedly old vacuum, I feel, is the only thing left in my apartment that's working at all.  Today my water got temporarily shut off for the third time since I moved here in August.  It's back on now, but seriously?  Three times?  The other two times it was off for several days, making me one angry, unwashed individual (actually the second time I just went home since it was so close to Thanksgiving and showered when I got there).  The 3M hooks I was using to hold up my curtains detached from the wall (which they are not supposed to do, ever) and the whole contraption fell down in a heap.  My computer is on its last legs, so it's running incredibly slow, and being generally disagreeable whenever I try to get anything done (once I get a program running we're good, it's just getting the program to run that's the trouble).  Worst of all, my bedroom door has the hardest time staying shut (parenthesis all over this paragraph, huh?).

This bothers me because it reminds of my bedroom growing up.  No matter how far you closed the door, unless you shut it completely and heard the click, it would swing open again of its own accord.  I didn't like to shut the door completely when I was sleeping back then because I was afraid of being trapped in there if something demonic came in, so I was always sure to leave it slightly cracked.  If it had been the sort of door that swung back open as soon as you let go of it, I'm sure I wouldn't have been so unsettled, but that's not what happened.  The door would stay right where you put it for a while, then slowly reopen in the most ominous way possible after an unpredictable about of time.  My fears of some ghost-demon-beast breaking in were, of course, reaffirmed.

Now, though, I want to sleep with the door closed to help trap the heat in my room since I don't turn the heater on unless I really need it.  It's already back off since the last entry, but I live on the third floor, so I'm getting all the heat that rises up from the rooms below mine.  Right now it's a comfortable 68 degrees in my apartment.  But I digress.

My current bedroom has one of those won't-stay-shut-unless-pushed-until-the-click doors, just like my childhood one.  However, due to some issue with the door framing, the carpet, or some other unfortunate anomaly, it takes more effort than it should to get the door completely closed.  Meaning that I will never completely close it.  This goes back to my fear of being trapped, and here's my reasoning: if it takes effort to close it must take effort to open, right?  What if some sinister character busts through my bedroom window and I'm stuck in there with him/her/it because of my dysfunctional door?

And maybe I know that the door is not, in fact, hard to open at all.  Maybe I've closed and opened the door several times on several occasions just to prove this to myself.  Maybe I know that, even if the door were hard to open, the fact that I live on the third floor and that there are trees right outside my window means that anyone breaking in would require a ladder or something along those lines, unless they could climb trees, but in any case would end up making enough noise for me to wake up and get out before they even made it to my window.  It doesn't matter.  My inner eight-year-old wants that door open.

My poor inner eight-year-old, because it's so scared of having the door shut, but leaving it cracked inevitably recreates the creepy self-opening.  This one's not as unpredictable as the one from my youth, it pretty much swings back as soon as you let go of it, but it still unnerves me a little each time I turn around and see it open again right after I shut it.  Part of me can't help but think, "Just great, who knows what's in here now?  Probably something godless and hungry."

In the face of all this, at least I have a working vacuum cleaner.  I'm actually trying to tidy up my apartment here and there so it's clean by the time I head home for Christmas.  Although, not much got done today since I didn't have water until about 5:00.  Sure, I could have done something once it was turned back on, but I have all week.  No need to be hasty.

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