When all my friends are away and I feel the tickle of existential terror on the back of my eyes, when all my surfaces are adorned with jigsaw puzzles and I spend the afternoon facedown on my neighbor's lawn, whining mechanically into the grass, I know it's time to clean my room.
I call Sel Minartt, a veteran of six wars, and get him to do the dirty corners. I sit the man down in a rocking chair with a bottle of whiskey and a cassette of mundane guitar plinking; before I close the door on my way out, I make sure he has plenty of matches. It's something in his cigarettes that makes the grime leave the walls and floorboards and flocculate into a soft cloud. When he was in the trenches, people used to pay Sel to smoke deep into their septic wounds. I sometimes retch when I think of that prospect, he's probably seen a lot of weird things.
The annoying part is sweeping up all the ash after Sel leaves, I don't think brooms are particularly clean. I wish Loosh Marggie would return my vacuum cleaner, I bet she broke it and doesn't want to tell me.
Sketch by Walter Mensch