Nature abhors a vacuum. So does this basement. A dandrous coat blankets the couch, rug, coffee table, chachkas (the list, like the hair, covers everything down here). In a day's time, the basement can become dustier and more hirsute than any number of hipsters milling about outside a bike shop.
The vacuum had seemed hesitant lately, picking up dirt with the reluctance of a four-year old ordered to clear his plate of peas (worst thing ever...when I was 4). But, you know, if you move the vacuum over the rug enough, the combing of fibers will give the impression of a cleaner rug. Satisfied, the dirt, if not vanquished, at least dispersed, I turned the kitchen lights low and returned the machine to its closet. Out of sight, out of mind. But out of sight does not mean out of lungs. Nope, it was still filthy down here.
Now, most of the dust and hair down here are of canine/feline origin. In direct sunlight, in slow-motion, I'm certain the human eye would see a blizzard of fur pummeling the metaphorical Mid-West of our lives. On each clump of orange fur, each blanched bristle of hound dog hair, under electron microscope, a serene portrait of a family of mites reveals one of the many disgusting layers of life in harmony with we all must live.
Serendipitously, before our insides looked like the outside of a chalk eraser, the vacuum stopped working, then started working, the stopped again. A curious tinkerer, I scratched my itch to dismantle, and took it apart. What I found I have since referred to as a "ferret of hair" clogging a tube. Fishing it out with a screwdriver, I couldn't help thinking of how, when you're throwing up, you're like, "Where is this all coming from?". The vacuum, thus exorcised, regained its original suction and I set off to bust dust with extreme prejudice.
Hey, look at that! The rug is a deep cocoa brown, not a mottled mess that looked closer to stained press board!
Ahh. I sat down to a cup of tea. Even took my slippers off without fear of them developing a hobbit-like sole.
I closed my eyes for just a moment Two cats ran past me. Two dogs barreled down the stairs. Oh, well, I thought, and closed my mouth as well.