5 min read

Your Room Gets Messy, and You Clean It Up

So why stress the mess?
Photo shows the interior of an RV with piles of clothes, dishes, boxes, tools, and various containers and knick-knacks
Introducing Thomas the cat—if you can find him in this chaos

“Please make a mess,” my boyfriend at the time said, five years ago. He said it gently. He said it softly, in the sweet way people do sometimes when they’re having sex, which we were. “Please make a mess,” he said, over and over, not because he was into scat, which he wasn’t, but because when I told him I wasn’t prepped for anal, he wanted to convey that all parts of me were welcome. Were lovable to him. Even the messy ones.

We could’ve cleaned it up. Anyone who knows me knows that I would have cleaned it up—I keep my ship tight, my shit tight, I guess, because I declined to make the mess on offer despite how much I wanted the anal in question. A friend of mine, who was also very Type A, responded when I told him on a walk around Berkeley what my boyfriend had said that if anyone ever said that to him, he would immediately orgasm and die.

All this week, I’ve been purging. This morning’s full moon, I learned just last night, brought “a potent opportunity to cleanse and organize our systems,” to quote Chani’s take. My house has been a mess. I pulled everything out of every cupboard. I ordered shelves from Amazon (boooo) to put everything back more organized than it had been before. I first typed that sentence as “put everything back better,” because that’s my learned judgment.

“Am I a mess?” I asked a friend on the phone in October. The month before, I’d driven to the Wolf Creek Radical Faerie Sanctuary in Southern Oregon. Three weeks later, I missed a doctor’s appointment. Not showed up late—missed, entirely, without even remembering it was happening, because I was doing a puzzle with a friend in the middle of a Monday afternoon. The day after that, I showed up at the correct time for a scar-massage session an hour’s drive away—but two entire days early. I had arranged the appointment myself, over so many emails, so meticulously. Later that night, I went to the bathroom in the aforementioned friend’s house, and I somehow managed to pee all over their floor.

I still don’t understand how the latter happened. Well, any of it. But especially the latter.

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