I got down on my knees this morning. By my side, I had a bucket of hot water and pine-sol. On my hands I wore yellow rubber gloves. The black spots and the crumbs on the kitchen floor finally reached a point where I could stand it no longer, and I allowed myself the luxury of a floor scrubbing. In one act I discovered and destroyed a world. A world that had been quietly growing and evolving, unnoticed, beneath our feet. An economy of dust and dropped food, dominated by the corner-loving spiders, waiting on the bechecked linoleum, for their prey to make a bad move.
The ants were the ones that inspired the first decisions to scrub the floor. Overnight they had laid their roads and highways over the sink and the through the cupboards. I can tolerate ants in my room, and even in the bathroom. I admire ants... I hate to cause their colony pain. When they cross the boundary of the sacred hearth, the sanitary place where we prepare our food, that is when I pull out the vacuum cleaner. Which, in turn, inspired me to pull everything away from the corners, which caused me to realize that it wouldn't be much more work to scrub the floor. The bait of the satisfaction of a clean floor was tempting enough to pull on the gloves after I had caused as much havoc with the little six-legged interlopers that I could.
They are back, of course, but at least their paths are clean and clutter free.
I learned a lot about the history of the kitchen. It used to be pale pink and pale blue. It also spent some time being burnt orange ( I remember that). I removed the paint spot that always reminded me of a bird dropping. I removed jam and egg yolk (I won't mention any names here). I scrubbed the disgusting, rusty, shrouding that covers the foot of the fridge. I pulled out the condensation tray (etched with the words "do not wash in boiling water") and rinsed it with cold water. I scrubbed the dust covered nether thingies. Fridges are really gross. They just collect gunk. I pulled out the shelf thing that someone shoved under the it and replaced it, so our katchup won't fall.
Now I wait for the floor to dry. My stomach is empty. I want to feel that virginal floor with my bare feet.