viernes, 19 de abril de 2013

The awakening

My story begins when another one ends, that is, my first year at University.

After a disasterous week of finals and lack of sleep, all that was left now was to pack my bags and leave the halls of residence. My mother was going to drive up that Saturday to help pack everything up and so on. We'd agreed that she'd be arriving around twelve.

The night before was key. Before I continue this story I must point out the fact that I'm the most messy person on the planet, and living in a room the size of a cupboard didnt help matters. Honestly speaking I'd gone through the year used to not seeing the floor under all the mess. To be fair I had started the year off well, sleeping eight hours a day and always allowing myself a certain time a day to clear up after myself. And more so after my grandmother had brough me a beautiful rug to liven up the room a bit. But gradually things just got out of hand... 

It had reached a point where the very thought of clearing up seemed like an endless nightmare. There were times when I would somehow talk some sense into myself and convince myself that I couldnt go on living like this anymore. Those were the times when I would begin to clear up, and on the odd occasion I would leave the place looking spotless. Though this would never last more than a day. A day? What am I talking about? I could turn the place upside down in less than an hour... 

The worst thing was when the sink got clogged up... Just thinking about the whole sherade is rather nauseating. I have a feeling it was the pancake mix I so cleaverly poured down the drain... After that the water would take forever to drain, and dont even get me started on the smell that came out of there. Now a normal human being would have done the humain thing of just talking to the caretaker about it so he could come up and fix it. But of course, that meant clearing up the room and keeping it like that until the caretaker had come up and fixed the sink. So I lazily decided to take matters into my own hands. Not literally of course.

I began by buying a plunger, but that got me nowhere. I did manage to get a lot of stuff out the drain, and it did make the water wash away a bit quicker, but the blockage was still there. And each time the water disappeared a thick layer of a disguisting smelly substance would cover the sink. So that meant wating for it to dry (a day or so) and then scraping it off. Then I remembered those fury sticks that you can put down the drain as to clear the blockage. But they were equally useless.

Daily plunging did help a bit, but at this stage I have to admit to washing the dishes in the bathroom sink. Eventually I just cleaned the sink out, and stopped using it. And as it was summer I could leave the windows open to avoid that awful smell.

When the room situation seemed as though it could not get any worse, it actually did. Around May I began to panick about my finals, so I basically spent my days worrying about the exams and focusing on all the projects I had to hand in. I used the room to sleep, and sometimes not even that. Some nights I spent at the library, and all I used the room for was to have a shower and get changed before going to class. 

At that the room was in such a state that the mere thought of it, and all of the hours I needed to spend to get it back to normal would make me panick in such a way that I could be thinking about it and suddenly be in tears. I kept telling myself I needed to spend a day just absolutely scrubbing the place, but what with exams and that that day never came.

But lets face it, my studies were also going horrendously bad. I kept using them as an excuse not to have to confront the room, but all the exams I had to pass would get me in as much a state as the though of having to clean the room. Once I though I had one of the subjects under control, I would realize in a panick that I had been neglecting another subject, and then by the time I had this second subject under control I had already kind of forgotten all the work on the first subject. And I had ten different subjects...

Anyway, having established what an absolute disaster I had turned my life into, I can now go back to that day my mother drove up to load the car up with everything. The day before I had my last final, and after that I had the whole day to clear the place up. But somehow an afternoon nap turned into a ten hour coma. The plan was to come out of the exam, have a quick doze, as I hadnt slept that night, and get to work on the room. 

I woke up in the evening, fully rested of course, but in a right state at the though of everything that needed to be done. It wasnt just cleaning the room, it was packing all the bags. But it had to be done. I had no excuses now. Exams were over, and there was nothing else that could trigger my mind. 

I began by picking up the dirty laundrette off the floor and taking it all downstairs to put it in the washing machine. It wasnt really necessary, I could have easly waited to be at home to put a washload home, but this was a way of getting a bit of the mess out of the way; then came the desk, piled up high with rubish and dirty dishes. And loose papers, and other junk. The place still looked like a pig sty. The floor was piled with a load of things that I'd just left there over the months. Coat hangers, jackets, books, towels, shoes, empty water bottles, food wrappers, stationary...

Before I knew it it was past twelve pm, and god knows how, I was starting to yawn. I started to get fustrated at the though of having spent over two hours on the place and having done so little. This fustration turned into panick... How much longer did I need?? At this rate it looked like I was going to be up all night!! I'd put over five washloads on, and then put them in the drier. So that was something out of the way. 

I though maybe if I changed rooms, I would eventually get back into it again, so I started cleaning the bathroom. To my annoyance, the blue bathroom rug had left a blue stain when I picked it up to wash. And even after scrubbin it there was still trace of it. Then came the toilet seat incident.

I stepped onto the toilet seat to reach the top of the mirror, and just as I was getting of, something sort of cracked... I jumped off and realized I'd broken the seat... Now how on earth was I to explain that?? I'd gained a few pounds, but from there to cracking the toilet seat... So anyway, I decided to just leave it. 

At this point it was getting on for 2am, and somehow I was shattered. As I went back into the main room, wich still looked like the remains of a tornado, I foolishly conviced myself that I could go to sleep and set an early alarm to do the rest of it tomorrow before my mother arrived. So I set the alarm for six (Mum was coming around lunchtime).

The next day I was awoken not by my alarm... But by my mother knocking on the door. I sat up in bed, looking around at all the mess, somehow frozen in horror. This feeling lasted about a second though, it turning into full on panick as I uselessly began picking up as much as I could, while calling out in a panick that  I was getting changed, that I'd just come out the shower...
I must have not sounded very convincing, because my mother grew impatient at the door, demanding to come in. What on earth was I meant to do at this point?? There I was in the middle of this chaos, in my pijamas and holding a rubish bag, the floor still barely visible... Not to mention the stench that was coming from the bin.

All that was left was to face my mother and get this over with. The next half an hour well, you can imagine... My mother went ballistic, and after I was dressed she basically sent me off to the supermarket for more rubish bags. I think she needed to get rid of me for a while as to avoid killing me or deafening me with her yells of rage.

When I came back she'd done more than I had in all those hours the night before. I offered to do something, but she wouldnt hear of it, saying I would just slow her down, so I just sort of stood there awkardly whilst she cleared up the remains of it all. Eventually I was able to feel useful when she handed me what seemed like an endless parade of rubish bags to take down to the bins. And then the suitcases and boxes to fill the car up.

The amount of guilt I felt at this moment was surreal. I had let her down so much, and that was without her knowing what a disaster my grades were going to be. I was dreading the long drive back... Was it going to be all shouts, or was it going to be a long and killing silence??

About ten minutes into the drive, I said how sorry I was, but I knew it wasnt going to help matters. I had apologized so much in my life for these kind of things, and I just kept doing them... So sorry here just seemed like an empty meaningless word to my mother, no matter how many times I uttered it.

Then came an even longer silence which was the most unconfortable thing I have ever encountered. Eventually we began speaking again, I cant remember what it was about, but at last that awful silence was over. It was then when she told me about this condition she'd been reading about: Dyspraxia. She'd come across a list of its symtoms, and seen how many I coincided with. Messyness, daydreaming, social difficulty, bad coordination...

I wasnt really sure what to say. At first I felt that it was just one big excuse my mother was granting me to hide the fact I was a lazy slob. I said this to her, but she just smiled and said that it wasnt the case, that it was beyond that, that someone in their right mind could not let things get out hand like that. I dont know, what was more of a relief. The fact that my mother had forgiven me, or the fact that there was a logical explanation for all those times I had felt so unable to confront certain situations, to all those times I had felt so much rage towards myself. At last, I was able to understand.

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