The Mind's I

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July 4, 1999
The American Dream

You know, I just can't stay away.

The more I think, "Iko, you should be spending time packing or arranging your things to prepare for your move to your new digs", the more I am tempted to just sit down in front of this computer and write.

Well, it helps that even though my room in my parents' house (the computer room) is one of the hottest rooms in the house, it is still cooler than the coolest room in the new apartment. No air conditioning and it's sweltering hot out side. Yet, despite the heat, our new cleaning lady accepted a job to work today on the new apartment.

It's a Sunday.

It's a national holiday.

"Sure, I can come to clean, but only a few hours. Is that okay?"

I want to kiss this woman's feet. Any help to clean up the sty that the old tenant left is welcome. Her name is Adrianne and I think she's one of the hardest working individuals I've ever met. She took a bathroom that was absolutely filthy and made it sparkling clean. The probably two years of mildew buildup in the tub are gone and gleaming white grout is left. She's cleaned and disinfected every inch of the bathroom and has made it useable (when we first checked out the apartment, I would step into the bathroom and promptly step out to prevent myself from gagging. I can't believe that people would live in those conditions). She's cleaned the kitchen cupboards to the point where I've been lining the cabinets and adding our dishes to them. She's cleaned all the windows of the apartment and now they are sparkling new.

To top it all off, she's very inexpensive.

She's in her early fourties, long black curly hair and a heavy new york accent. She looks far younger than her age. Her nails are beautifully manicured and I'm surprised how well she keeps them (she says the secret are wraps) despite her line of work. She's incredibly strong (she helped me take down a door and she lifted it singlehandedly to the basement). She has some difficulty reading (she has a hard time with words like "preferred") but she's got a great deal of common sense and a positive outlook in life. I met her boyfriend when he helped us shut off the gas to the old stove that we're going to get changed to a new model tomorrow. He's a phone guy and once we've moved in, I've promised to myself that I'll call her and her boyfriend to help us rewire the phone lines in the apartment. They seem like such a nice couple that I'm very happy to give them my business.

She's a talker and is good conversation while I'm cleaning in nearby room. We've talked about everything from herbal medicine to her family (her step father is asian and adopted her and her siblings eagerly) to new store bargains (she seems to know all of them. You need something? She can tell you the cheapest and best place to get them). I like her company and I want to hire her to come in once a month to clean the bathroom and kitchen for me.

And every four months, clean the windows (I'm still in shock on how white they were).

She was only supposed to stay two hours: seal the tub with caulk, maybe get to cleaning the kitchen cabinet fronts. Well, she stayed from 11 to 5. I offered her lunch but she wasn't interested and kept talking about the barbecue that her boyfriend would be cooking for her afterwards.

I love watching her clean because she's teaching me how to do it and what cleaners would be right to use. She's helping me realize our (Mike and me) dream of living together in a beautiful place. She's a good person and someone that has helped my family immeasurably in my move.

I think I'll keep her. My American dream.

© Copyright 1999, Eileene Coscolluela