Today I had to do the chore I hate: cleaning before the cleaners.
You know, where you go around and pick up all the crap that is lying around your house, before the cleaners come in, so that they can get to the surfaces that need to be cleaned.
In between putting clothes away and breaking down cardboard boxes, I kept collecting little things that needed to go somewhere else. Dead batteries, safety pins, receipts, pieces of wire, the dried vertebrae of a small animal … I finally had to get a plastic bag to put them in, because who has time to sort all those little things in a single morning?
The worst, though, are those little plastic things. Sometimes they are ring-shaped, sometimes they are peg-shaped, sometimes they don’t have any shape at all.
You don’t know where they came from or where they go. They might be a replacement part or they might have fallen off something. They might be a washer you dropped when you were installing something.
Or they might be nothing.
My inclination is to throw them all in the trash. But as soon as you do that, you discover the thing that’s missing a part, which is the plastic thing that you just threw away. And it will stop working because you don’t have the plastic thing.
I have a special place for little plastic things. It’s a plastic drawer thing that I hide in the armoire, behind the martini glasses.
But you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever retrieved a single plastic thing from the plastic drawer thing.
Little things don’t mean a lot.
Today’s penny is a 2011, which is the year I started the plastic drawer thing collection.
And I wasn’t kidding about the animal vertebrae. I’m saving them for an art project.