On dust and habits

There is prob­a­bly no more “mind­ful­ness” than this time spent over a bowl to elim­i­nate the nec­es­sary. We dare to over­think what is com­ing out ; our mind goes else­where, and our gaze stu­pid­ly scans the lim­it­ed hori­zon of the bathroom.

Some­times, espe­cial­ly at night, dur­ing a noc­tur­nal emp­ty­ing, one can see this or that insect, sur­prised by the dim light, crawl­ing towards an invis­i­ble food. I have an old house ; it has long been inhab­it­ed by crea­tures that are harm­less to humans, self-clean­ing, use­ful destroyers.

The day­time shows a crud­er spec­ta­cle, espe­cial­ly the dust that accu­mu­lates with­out being noticed. Let’s say that, liv­ing alone, I have a more or less faith­ful rela­tion­ship with dust.

This morn­ing, how­ev­er, I felt the call of the hoover ; the traces, one might say deep, on the scale gave me the sig­nal to put things in order. I was still fas­ci­nat­ed to see my feet on the scale, and I always seemed to put them in the same place. I don’t take my weight every day, but the area where I put my feet is the clean­est. If it were cement, I’d prob­a­bly make arti­facts of it for future archaeologists.

In short, our habits are prob­a­bly relat­ed to hygiene or a desire for secu­ri­ty. For exam­ple, the order on my com­put­er is supe­ri­or to my house­’s. My sheets are clean­er than my kitchen floor, and the glass in my glass­es is shinier than the bath­room mir­ror. The same goes for my teeth since my den­tist warned me that there was dan­ger in the gums.

In the reefs of the warm seas, tiny fish wait for a tur­tle to park near them. It’s time for a cara­pace pick. The fish then get busy, and once they have had their fill and the ani­mal’s inte­ri­or is clean, they return to the cor­ral to wait for the next customer.

In the salons, the hair­dressers wait for ladies or gen­tle­men to sit on a chair. They don’t so much feed on hair or dan­druff, but in return for a cer­tain amount of mon­ey, put their clients’ nat­ur­al selves in order. It’s all the same to me, a kind of atavis­tic cycle.

But the dust nev­er says its last word. These pam­pered clients may be hid­ing in wet­ter, less well-groomed areas. If the gums are healthy, what about the liver ?

The pris­tine state is a utopia. A lit­tle dust nev­er hurt any­one, but my moth­er would dis­agree ; she has such a fine nose that she can smell the accu­mu­la­tion of dirt like oth­ers see auras.

This morn­ing, I weighed again, and my weight was sta­ble, and I don’t know if this is a good sign. Still, it’s time to vac­u­um the house before div­ing back into the healthy sleep of my habits.

The day my house is always clean, I won­der what state my mind will be in…