I don’t know why I feel like I’ve done nothing

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories 2 Comments

My computer, which had a bad Windows install with which I’d been living for a while, finally went crash and I ended up without it a couple of times over the past several weeks. The thing is everything is on my computer. All the work I do is on my computer. Words. Art. Websites I do for others and volunteer and myself. Research. Everything is on the computer. All my records for H.o.p.’s homeschool (his computer has all his homeschool stuff on it). So when I’m without my computer I’m without everything. Being without everything, last week I began degreasing the kitchen. I wasn’t industrious enough to pull out the ladder and standing on a chair could only reach up to within 16 inches of the ceiling but I figured that was good enough. I degreased and degreased and degreased shelves and stuff on them and scrubbing and scrubbing I got a chip of something under my thumb and really bruised it badly so I couldn’t use my thumb for anything as it hurt too badly so that ended that elbow grease emphatic cleaning.

Then this week my computer went boom crash again. We had thought it was ok, had been through tests etc., and now here it was losing parts of Windows (same as it was last week) and refusing to reboot. Just gone. So away it went again for other people to look at it and this time I have been without it since Tuesday. It is a 4 month old computer. We replaced memory hoping that would help. Replaced hard drive. It is still not working right. I don’t know right now when I’m getting it back.

The first day without the computer I wandered around through all the rooms with a can of flat wall paint standing on chairs touching up this and that. I’ve the walls covered with H.o.p.’s drawings and took them down and peeled off tape and retouched around all that. (I later discovered that the off-white was not quite the shade on our walls, a barely barely only vaguely noticeable touch darker, but it was too late by then.) I looked up at the ceiling at a patch of the paper covering it that has been threatening to come down for months. I’m no carpenter or painter but in some ways our landlord isn’t much of one either (and Marty isn’t at all) and so I did what I always counted on in theater, which is trusting distance to turn make-believe into reality, and I pulled out the rickety ladder (it wobbles like 6 inches to either side as you climb) and decided my desk was better than that and covered it with towels and climbed on top of my desk and painted the ceiling over my desk (which needed it) and then just used plain old scotch tape to fix the cracked and falling paper. You can’t even see the scotch tape so I figured that worked quite nicely. Then I started in on H.o.p.’s room. I sorted all the toys, looking for itsy bitsy missing parts and putting them back together, which was quite some chore and took hours. You probably will wonder how it took hours but it did, looking for this part and that part in stacked bins and bins of toys and parts of toys. I forget what else I did except the usual with H.o.p.’s school work and I read to him almost all of a book of Shel Silverstein’s poems.

The second day I started rereading Ishiguro’s “Remains of the Day”. I tackled H.o.p.’s closet (when he wasn’t looking) and tossed what I could, which I knew he would never notice. I looked for other stuff to toss. I decided I wasn’t through with sorting H.o.p.’s toys andI took out his bins of Megablocks castle blocks and Legos, which were all mixed together, and I sorted all those and, trust me, that took quite a while. I vaguely remember talking to the landlord about the bathroom again (during one of my trips to the bins with stuff for tossing) and I bleached the bathroom floor heavily to kill the mildew smell. I know I worked quite a bit in the front room that night doing something or other (taking down books and washing window sills) because the prostitutes have returned to our street, hooking outside our building, and I got to watch them walk up and down right outside the windows. They wear 5 inch cloppy heels and sound literally like horses going up and down the sidewalk. Again, I forget what else I did except H.o.p.’s schooling and I began reading to him Azimov’s “Chronology of the World” which he isn’t at all interested in but I decided to give it another shot.

The third day I finished rereading Ishiguro’s “Remains of the Day”. My thumb was healed enough that I only sweated and shivered a little when using it so I did more drive-by painting. I pulled out the black gloss and painted the front part of a book case and the shelves that needed it and the top. Wandering by another book case I decided it could use some touching up, and another. Then I touched up a chair. Then I thought that my desk would look better black and I painted my desk, its body and drawers. I pulled out the leftover can of kitchen paint and I started on the wall behind where the garbage bin is. The plaster had been bubbling and peeling off. As my landlord isn’t much of a carpenter/painter, and though I’m not, and as the wall already looks like an archaeologist’s dig, I decided I might as well see to it myself and I scraped off plaster and more plaster and started repainting that wall. Then I repainted the wall next to the ktchen sink. Then I painted the wall again where I’d scraped the plaster. Then I thought I might as well paint the white cupboard drawers in the kitchen and pulled out the white gloss and painted those all around and while I had the white gloss out I remembered some white bookcase shelves that needed touching up and I pulled out some things on a couple of them and touched up several shelves. Then I painted again the kitchen walls I had been working on and put a layer of paint on the wall beside the oven, under the window. Then I touched up all the thresholds to rooms (they’re all painted black). Then I thought now I will do the antique semi-gloss around the baseboards and touch up all the doors but the little that was left in that can was dried up. Which left me in a chair staring up at the ceiling seeing another part of the paper that was cracking and starting to come down but it’s not over my desk and at least for the time being decided not to pull out the ladder and climb up and try to do something about that.

For some reason, looking around, I feel like I’ve not done much of anything. I don’t know why. It seems like I should feel like I’ve done something.

I’m posting this via H.o.p.’s computer. Which he has let me borrow for the moment.

I’ve not a clue what I’m going to do today.

Comments 2

  1. I know a lot about rooting though bins of toys to put all of the pieces together and where they belong. I do it on a monthly basis.

    Thought you might be interested to know that on the inside of a lot of Liam and Annabella’s book covers, we see the name “kearns” in the same cursive penamanship.

    We treasure them.

  2. Ha! I did have also a personal interest. I’m crazy about several robot magnet toys of his that were missing parts and was determined to get them put back together. I notice they are now missing again from the refrigerator…I like to have them returned by the end of the day so that I can keep track of those in particular.

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