I was on community service this week. I call it community service but it’s in fact a chore wheel where the six flats in the tenement take turns in cleaning the common areas. I hate doing it more than I reasonably should.
There’s no logic in my thinking, still, I can’t help telling myself, as I swing the mop, Damn, I have a PhD degree and here I am, cleaning after other people. Not so much after myself, as I’m not the one who drops chewing gums and corn at the stairs.
As I was scraping the flattened chewing gum stuck on one of the stone steps, I composed a poem in my head. After all, I’m still a doctor of English Literature. I’m also the concierge, which gives me the privilege to stick signs on the board. Like this.
WIPE YOUR BOOTS
KEEP THE COMMON AREAS CLEAN
KEEP THE DOOR LOCKED AFTER 8 PM
DON’T BE A PIG, BE A PERSON
OR JUST KEEP OUT
That’s it, that’s my poem. I’m proud of myself, how well I’ve cleaned everything. You could eat from the floor (if you don’t much mind getting hepatitis). If I catch anyone dropping food or fags on the stairs, I’ll beat them up with my mop.