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Taking Back my Apartment All on my Own (But Not Really!)

There are some things that I cannot do and will never do very well. It will get better but never even remotely close to perfect. One of those iconic weaknesses is keeping my apartment clean. Perhaps shaping something into more of a strength is acknowledging that it will always be a weakness to some extent. A cluttered room equals a cluttered mind. On that note, my apartment and mind had been cluttered for a very long time. Both will inevitably become cluttered once again, and it is only a matter of time before the disgusting filth and clutter returns. The reason it is so hard is because the disaster creeps up just like weight gain!

Something I have struggled with for a very long time is a fear of unnecessary waste. It is easy for papers to add up over a long period of time. The clutter eventually became unbearable. Therefore, i was able to create an easy fix by renting a storage unit in the City of Albany to house the disaster and pretend there is nothing amiss within my living space. Someday I will go to the storage unit to chip away at the mess and realize that if all of this stuff is something I do not think about in my daily life it is probably not that important. It provides no joy in my life. But it is not something that I can manage overnight. I cannot just throw away an entire box even if most of it appears to be junk. One time, a parent accidentally threw away my PocketMail Device and CD collection. Even though it was many years ago, I practically had to be taken to the psychiatric ward upon realizing this precious aspect of my life was gone forever. It is not just things for somebody with Asperger’s syndrome. For us, us it is the end of the world!! This experience is not the worst thing that could happen to me, but the the

Even though I am aware there is a problem, I am still pleased to have taken the baby steps to create a better reality. With the clutter gone I was able to deal with the filth underneath. Well…sort of! Not really! The job seemed too immense to deal with by myself. It was time to swallow my pride and take an expensive shortcut. I would rather admit it than pretending that I am better than the average person who is struggling. There are some things I am not able to do entirely by myself, and it is not completely due to laziness. Projects that are part of my career and created entirely by my own blind ambition have a way of escalating like wildfire. Much of my time and energy is spent trying to save the world with Convalescent Plasma while driving myself crazy with frustration. I would rather be frustrated, angry, and desperate than choose the other extreme of accepting there is no control over anything or the astronomical odds of creating a National Convalescent Plasma Drive to save people from the Coronavirus. I am also picking up the hundreds of cigarette butts all over Albany to gain attention from some major companies in hopes the CEO plays golf with Governor Andrew Cuomo. It is much better than doing absolutely nothing, in my opinion. At this moment, I feel that is a better use of time.

I called Merry Maids for the third time since having moved to Albany in 2015 me out of this nightmare. One thing I have learned is that if there is any clutter they have to move it out of the way. I went crazy for a while looking for my $500.00 travel voucher from American Airlines only to eventually find where they put it along with the other paper clutter or fearful they had thrown it in a dumpster. (It was in my large, Halloween top hat!) This company does an amazing job because this is all they do all day long. They are seasoned experts and a testament to the fact there is no such thing as a mediocre job as long as they are helping society and making a contribution. They are heroes who helped give me my life back.

It is amazing how they come in with all of their equipment and restore beauty in a matter of hours when it would have taken me weeks. Perhaps it helps that this is what they do every day and am sure they have found shortcuts that do not diminish the quality of their work performed. I decided this could be a gift for myself considering that I did not have a typical birthday and also may not be going to Wildwood Crest, NJ. This beach vacation is the one thing I give myself every year, and now it may not even come to fruition. Therefore, I decided to splurge and justified the expense by calling it my Compensation Vacation. They also cleaned the carpet, which has to be done by a professional because even a vacuum does not really get rid of the grime and stains. It has to be treated with water and chemicals to give the impression that I have just moved into the place and the white paint of a freshly built apartment has yet to dry. In other words, I feel no shame in admitting that I relied on help to fix this nightmare.

The two ladies and one gentleman who came to my apartment from Merry Maids were very personable. We interacted like old friends and I asked them, “Is there a way to make cleaning fun or at least not as miserable as it seems?” They were at loss for something to say because cleaning is definitely NOT fun. If it were fun then it would not be called “work.” It would be called...something else! One of them did say that she listens to music while cleaning, however. I ended up giving them some advice that could help all of us, however. I explained that we have no control over certain things in this life especially those matters determined by the free will of others. I am thinking specifically about the two ladies I had serious romantic feelings for at various points of my life. They put me in the friend zone but genuinely liked having me around. I was able to accept being in the friend zone because they were still my entire world. One day, like a light switch had turned off, they severed contact with me for absolutely no reason and moved far away. This was not a personal conspiracy against me, and I am certainly not the only casualty of their decision. Others have been eliminated from their lives as they ran away to create a new life and possibly forget about the past. It is still unbearable to deal with these realities. “Backing off” and groveling after reasonable increments of time have passed have also yielded no rewards. For one of them I sent a Sympathy card used for the death of a loved one and explained, “It feels like you have died even though you have not!” While this was seriously overstepping my boundaries, I still resorted to contacting their family members of these ladies to basically ask, “Why is she doing this, and is this going to go on forever?!” I have very little respect and tolerance for those who sever relationships out of the blue. They technically have the right to abandon their friends, but they should not expect us to be waiting like toys thrown in the closet if they someday come to their senses. Trust is a hard thing to repair once it has been so dramatically broken! The point is not just to vent about this sadness, but to let the people at Merry Maids know that bringing back a dirt-encrusted living space to its former glory is much easier than competing with a world that may break our hearts. We are not at the mercy of someone else when cleaning a room. It is all on us, and the environment responds to our efforts. They thought this is a great attitude, and hopefully they will take it seriously to feel more like a warrior while internally sticking it to flakey, flighty, and fiercely inconsiderate people.

As of now, my apartment looks so incredible. So pristine and clean! The cleanliness will last for a while but hardly forever. Disaster is waiting in the wings and a few months from now I will be living in my own mess once again. But maybe not. Maybe one day I will just focus on cleaning the bathroom countertop. The next day I will resolve to picking up the hair on the bathroom floor and scrubbing it with Lysol. The next day, the bathtub and toilet will be scrubbed free of yellow residue. Then other parts of the apartment will be targeted in ridiculously small increments as the problem is warded off with the pace of an Amazon tree sloth. Progress is not being perfect but being a little less incompetent than the last time! Now…what do you think about THAT?! Included is a clean part of my apartment, by the way! Let's pray that this scene remains the same for as long as possible. Maybe it will this time a little more than the last cleaning frenzy...

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