Sunday, June 7, 2015
I am not sure I would have ever swept a floor properly without formal training. It seems like a harrowing task and I have always doubted my ability to, not just sweep stuff into a pile, but then get all of it somehow onto a dustpan. And then what do I do??! Please, enlighten me.
The other lady janitor that I am stuck with tonight has a head of hair that can be easily mistaken for a puff of smoke. It's thin and white and sticks straight up in a curly ball on top of her head. She has tough, tan skin and a bright white mouth because she only applies sunscreen to her lips. She wears a windbreaker and cut off jean shorts every day and tennis shoes with no socks. This walking, talking Roald Dahl character is training me tonight.
"Ok," she claps her hands together, trying to get me siked to clean, and the image of two elderly alligators dry humping pops into my head. She continues, "...so, have you ever used a push broom before?"
"No! Never! Are you kidding me? I just barely learned to eat with utensils last week!" Of course I didn't actually say this. I said, "Yeah. It seems easy enough." Big mistake.
"You THINK it's simple, but there are tricks to it!" She gets excited to teach a young grasshopper the ways of the push broom, her eyes glossy and bright like a drunken oriental karate master who swallowed his chance at a title years ago.
"You have to use your wrists when you sweep and turn the handle around so that you catch all of the dirt in the crevice between the floor and the wall." She shows me an example and finishes half of the hallway. If I can just play dumb for long enough, this brown, scaley creature might just do all of my work for me tonight!
She takes me to her abandoned junk yard and makes me wax her old cars to prep my wrists for sweeping. I do it and my wrists seem up to the task now. I hope I don't freak out and lose my shit when I see glitter on the floor! That's some tough stuff to sweep.
She hands me the push broom in a traditional ceremony, only close friends and family attending, and I show the room full of people what I have managed to accomplish in such a short period of tedious and diligent training.
I sweep up a pile of loose crumbs and abandoned hair accessories with such ease that the crowd falls silent. They are in awe of my ability to turn the handle of my broom with little to no effort.
I hear a woman gasp in the back row. My mom faints. My sister's eyes well with saline and pride.
I did it... I did it.
I point toward the sky and give a silent shout out to the man upstairs. I just know he's looking down at me, knowing this moment in time was why he created mankind.
I'm going to Disneyland!!