Archive for self-pity

Just a Job

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by 1writegirl

Cleaning houses
Not what I saw
Myself doing

In college…
Ten years ago…
Six months ago

But the need for
Money
Is ever-present
And sometimes
You can’t be picky

It was a mobile home
2 bedroom 2 bath
Shag carpet
Greasy stove
Stained floor
Brown toilets

It had clearly
NEVER
Been cleaned

I toiled away for hours
Till everything
Sparkled and shone

No cobwebs
No dust
No grime
No spots
Splatter or
Splooge

Every muscle hurt
Every bone ached
My finger tips
Were blistered
My knees bruised
A knuckle bleeding
Mindlessly cut as I labored

Yet I still had
The front porch to do
Christ! Where the seven
Cats lived…

I’ll come back tomorrow
I whispered
And thought
If I’m still alive

I’ll finish the job
Bright and early
I didn’t realize
How long it would take

The next morning
I was there at eight
Finished up in
Two hours and ten

Alice paid me in full
Plus twenty-five tip
You did such a good job
She smiled

Pressing the money into
My hand
She said
And you came back!

As if I would leave it
Undone

I loaded my supplies
Into my car
Then headed to
Another
Smaller job

Helping Lola
Clean out her garage
And put together a bed

As I prepared to leave
She turned to me
Have you got a card?
She asked

I’ve got lots of friends
Like myself
Who could use
A hard worker
Like you

I thanked her and told her
I’d get some made
Then drove home
Thinking
If I did this often
My hands would toughen up
My muscles wouldn’t hurt
I’d be in fit shape
And my bank account…

A fast calculation said
6 houses a month
Would pay my rent
And then some

In the end, of course
Sprawled prostrate
On my bed
It felt the same
As any job
I might do
Or have already done

They all leave me
Moaning
Cursing
Pulling my hair
Telling myself

I’m too old for this
I’m not cut out for this
What’s the point of this
Oh god, why this?

It’s how I feel about all
Work for pay
And I’ve tried
My fair share
To be sure

It’s just a job
If it isn’t
Writing

Fuck, man
I’ve gotta
Sell that book…