Friday, May 1, 2015

Free Fiction: Spring Cleaning (And Sneezing)

“What's all this?” Oscar stopped just past the threshold of their bedroom. The entire room appeared to have been upended. Drawers stuck out haphazardly, clothes mounded in piles, and heaps of books leaned against the baseboard. The windows were open and warm sunlight as well as a brisk breeze filled the room.

“Organizing!” Phillip said. He kneeled in one corner of the room, stretching an arm under the bed and hauling out miscellaneous items. Forgotten magazines were pulled forth and a multitude of dust bunnies tumbled with them. Despite the coolness of the air, Phillip was dressed only in a t-shirt and shorts. His face was flushed from exertion and he looked like he had hopped himself up on a dozen cups of coffee and might never come down.

Although he hesitated to use the word adorable on anything other than a child's toy, Phillip's antics and attire did cause Oscar to at least consider the word. But, as charming and attractive as his lover might be in a state of high energy, the room was still an utter mess, and the knife-edge of long travel jabbed at Oscar's eyes and into the tender joinings of his nerves.

“Today? Right now? I just got back from Austin. It was a two day trip and I’m exhausted," Oscar said.

Phillip straightened up and made shooing motions with his hands. “I don’t need you. This is my project. Go rest in the living room or the guest bedroom.”

“I can’t let you do this without help!” Oscar protested. The trip had worn his thin, but his innate sense of fairness dictated that he not allow Phillip to tackle a huge task without assistance. Oscar glanced to the left and scrawled words on a piece of paper caught his eye.

“Sure you can,” Phillip said, his voice muffled. He’d gone back under the bed, diving for lost treasures.

Oscar skimmed the paper. Clean the garage. Clean the basement. Clean the attic. Clean the shed. Clean the kitchen (don’t forget the oven). There was a check mark next to the kitchen and a double check mark next to the oven. He turned the paper over in his hands, almost fearful to see if anything was written on the back. Thankfully, it was free of tasks.

“You don’t plan to do all of this today, do you?” Oscar asked.

Phillip popped back up from under the bed. He had a dusty box in his hands. “Remember this?” He grinned and removed the top of the box. The contents were stacked neatly.
“We haven’t watched these movies in a long time.”

“And we’ll never have to time do so again if you intend to get all this done.” Oscar flapped the paper at Phillip.

Phillip closed the box and shoved it to the side. He clambered to his feet, covered in dust and grime. The tendrils of a defunct spider web stuck to the outer curl of his ear.
Oscar plucked it away as soon as Phillip got near enough. “It’s spring,” Phillip said. He reached out his arms and they hugged. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too. This is a lot of effort.”

“I know, but I feel good. I’ve been wanting to get these things done.” Phillip kissed Oscar on the left cheek and then the right before planting one on the lips, mixing comic effect with honest affection. “Go take a nap and I’ll have it all sorted. And don’t worry about dinner. I bought all sorts of stuff for sandwiches. Even pickle spears for a garnish.”

Oscar hesitated, giving a noncommittal noise of indecision.

“Go rest,” Phillip directed. “You can help me clean out the garage tomorrow.”

“Okay.” Oscar squeezed Phillip in another hug, releasing a faint cloud of dust and he sneezed.

“Good health to you, kind sir,” Phillip said, then gave Oscar a push. “Now, go. I’ve got to plumb the depths of the closet, and you’re being an albatross.”

Oscar yawned twice on the way to the living room, and sneezed twice more. Cleaning the garage would be an interesting chore. If Phillip followed his usual course, they'd make a disaster of it, and then organize it like it was a masterful battle campaign. He’d have to go out and get a dust mask first. And find his allergy meds.

No comments:

Post a Comment