Upfront: New Year's Devolution

Categories:      Opinion
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 at 1:16 PM
Upfront: New Year's Devolution by Cory Vaillancourt

I give up. I’m just not strong enough to fight any more.

I’m going to relapse in 2013.

Many of you know that this is not a new thing for me, but many of you don’t know that I’ve struggled with this problem my entire adult life. Starting with the day I left the comfy nest lovingly constructed by my wonderful parents 18 years ago as but a fledgling “adult,” wholly unprepared to assume responsibility for myself, I fell into this despicable, disgusting, dirty habit.

Perhaps it’s because I’m inherently lazy, or possessed of a weak constitution; perhaps it’s because in college I was, like many of you, exposed to alternative lifestyles wherein there was no stigma associated with such unwholesome physical defilement. Perhaps it’s because it makes you feel cool or rebellious, I don’t know.

Ultimately, speculation is pointless and unless you have a time machine – please, dear God, tell me you have a time machine – the root cause is immaterial. It’s the reality of the almighty Now that rules this day, and I’ve nobody to blame for the choices I’ve made but myself.

Here’s how it started: Back in the dirty old days, I would “acquire” a decent amount every few days, do a little bit here and there, feel pretty good about it, and then have none, and be perfectly fine with that, too. I’d go days without doing it. I didn’t miss it when it wasn’t around.

But then it started piling up, and I began to acquire great heaps of the stuff – literally. Mounds of it, laying around the house. That’s about the time when I started doing it more of it, more often. Escalation ensued, and I became obsessed with doing it – I became a junkie. I started doing it every day.

It became the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning, and the last thing I thought about when I went to bed at night. Some days, it’s all I did – wallowing in a dark and lonely valley surrounded by hulking and seemingly insurmountable mountains of it, I shut people out of my life to focus on it. Faced with such an overflowing supply, most of you would probably do the same.

“Come to the festival,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said.

“Nah, I can’t. I have some, ummm, stuff to do around the house,” I lied.

“Come to the discotheque,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said.

“Nah, I can’t. I have some, ummm, stuff to do around the house,” I lied.

“Come to the public house,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said.

“Nah, I can’t. I have some, ummm, stuff to do around the house,” I lied.

After repeatedly rejecting so many requests, my friends and loved ones began to express concern for my well-being. They never saw me out anymore, and they knew I was obfuscating the reasons for my hermit-like devotion to “household chores.” They knew something was up.

“Well, how about we stop by?” They said. “It will be fun,” they said.

“Completely unacceptable,” I thought to myself, ashamedly. “They’ll see it. They’ll see it all; I can’t hide it. It’s everywhere. It’s in my bedroom. It’s in the kitchen. It’s in the bathroom. It’s on the coffee table. It’s on my arms and legs and chest and hell, I’ve even got some in my car.”

“Ummm, I’m, ummm, busy,” I told them. “I’m a bit under the weather, and I’ve got a lot going on right now, and my place is a mess and I’ve been wearing the same clothes for nearly a week. But I’m fine. Really I am. But soon. Maybe next week. I’ll call you.”

I didn’t call, and their grudging acquiescence became harder and harder to earn each time; I even thought about hiding it all just to let them come over, once, to shut them up. Get them to leave me alone, you know?

I could do a whole bunch of it, crank up the tunes, and spend a few hours cleaning the whole house. I could gather it all up, and throw it in a bag in the closet or something. Bring it down to the laundry room in the basement or something. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

But then there’s the smell. It has a particular, unmistakable smell. You’ve probably caught a whiff of it at someone’s house before. You may have even smelled it on a person before – a friend, a co-worker, or even passersby on the street.

“They’ll smell it no matter where I put it,” I worried. Such was the paranoid madness of my logic.

It had to stop. The only way to get rid of it was to rise up from the dark and lonely valley and raze my mountainous prison.

So I did. Last year, I stayed mostly clean. It was a lot of work, and at times it almost seemed worth it; I resolved to do just a little, every day, instead of letting it pile up and doing it all at once in a bacchanalian fury. And as I did so, the piles grew smaller and smaller. Eventually, there came a day when there were no more piles laying around the house; it was the first day in a long, long time where I didn’t feel as though I had to do any.

But this year, I don’t think I can keep it up. It’s just been too hard, too demanding. After being dirty for 17 years and then being clean for 1, I still feel this decadent and depraved lifestyle calling me back; unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – I know myself all too well, and, I know what’s going to happen. It hasn’t gotten any easier over that past year, and as I said earlier, I give up. I’m just not strong enough to fight any more. I’m going to relapse in 2013.

I’m going to start letting my laundry pile up again.


Cory Vaillancourt is a brilliant writer/complete hack and can be complimented/heckled at cVaillancourt@ErieReader.com. Find him on Twitter @VLNCRT.

Tags: laundry, relapse

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