That’s the game.
555 words a day for 90 days makes a book.
The idea for the book is that I discover the idea for the book.
Yesterday, I created a kitchen that is spotless, almost. I spent the day cleaning it — taking everything out of every drawer, throwing away what was too old to use, donating to Goodwill what somebody else could use, and recycling what could be recycled.
And then, late last night, I discovered three drawers, just to the right of the sink, that I had forgotten.
So why did I forget these drawers? There’s a reason for that. It’s no accident that I cleaned the entire kitchen, including some really grimy shit in places the eye never goes that have never been cleaned (the tops of the cabinets above the stove). I had to stand on the countertop, with my knees bent, my head against the ceiling. It required a scraper.
And then there was the top of the refrigerator!
Yet, I did not clean these three drawers — easily accessed and easily cleaned — beside the sink.
The answer is inside the drawers.
The top drawer contains plastic grocery store bags. What are they used for? Absolutely nothing. My wife uses reusable bags when she goes grocery shopping. I forget to take these, so I get the plastic bags from the store. When I get home, I throw the plastic bags away — thereby polluting my planet.
When I lived in England, in the 70’s, they didn’t give you bags at the store. You brought your own. And here, we waste for the sake of waste because we can.
When I get home from the store, I don’t put my bags in this drawer. Why not?
Because it’s full! It’s overflowing! It’s a little landfill, inside my house! A little place with items that will never biodegrade — taking up prime real estate in our kitchen and on our planet.
Filling valuable space in my kitchen with toxic waste.
Filling valuable space in my life with toxic waste.
Down from there is a tool drawer. We have a place in the garage for tools, but every so often, I need one. So I bring the tool in the house, use it, and return it to the tool drawer. So now there are few tools left in the garage. And the tool drawer is overflowing.
Need a hammer? A screw driver? Start digging.
The other drawer is full of items that get used by the tools. A couple of screws. Nails. Leftover parts from installing a towel holder or a mini-blind. Stuff that’s almost useless but sometimes a life-saver.
If I feel like digging.
Digging for tools. Digging for nails and screws.
Digging for a bag that will eventually be buried in a landfill that no one will ever dig.
Digging for my life.
And for some reason, I don’t want to do the digging.
There must be something in the drawers I don’t want to find.
Something I’ll find that reminds me of something I don’t want to remember.
The picture wire for the picture I never got hung.
The clamps I borrowed from my dad and never returned.
The caulking I got for the bathroom that never got caulked.
The putty I got for the window that I never got fixed.
The things I did not complete.
The drawers represent a life of incompletion.
So I stop. Let it sit. Incomplete. The drawer that could be the easiest of all. Incomplete.
Do I want a life of completing things and moving on, or a life of digging and wondering where it went?