Skip to main content

way too clean

this is my pillowcase. it is much whiter now than it was only a few weeks ago. but i am telling the end of the story already. let me go back a little...

i am a very tidy person, for the most part. i feel quite strongly that everything should be put in its proper place, and should be neat and orderly. but not necessarily clean. some (annoying) people say that cleanliness is next to godliness, but i prefer to say that cleanliness is next to wastefulness. it wastes time. it wastes energy. it wastes water. it wastes space. and it wastes good ol' dead skin cells.

seriously. i mean that.

i, for one, like me. self-loathing has rarely been an issue for me, and that is more than simply psychological - it is downright physical: i like my smell. you know what i mean. each one of us has a smell - the combination of our cells falling off, our souls oozing through our own pores, and our very essence, our life-breath, filling the space around us. yes, we each have our smell, and i must admit that i like mine. i am not ashamed to say that i prefer the aroma of my self to the sanitary smelllessness of chemicals. when i wash my hair i can feel the stiffening effect of every syllable of every unpronouncable chemical in the eternally long ingredient list on the back of the shampoo bottle. or when i put on my newly washed jeans, stiffly constricting my movement, i hear them complain to me with every painful step about the rough and tumble of the spin cycle. i could go on and on here, but that would eventually get dramatic, and you all know my aversion to drama, so let it suffice to say that i prefer my own textured dirt to the sterility of white-washed surfaces.

and that goes for my pillowcase. the pillowcase that i use each night is one i've used since i was a child. it is familiar. but it is familiar not just because it is known to me, but because in a very real way it is me. i sleep on it every night and i don't wash it. it nourishes my skin and soothes my speeding mind. it comforts me with the smell of sleep. it whispers in so gently and softly in my ears, "relax, greg. this is your place. this is where you belong. breath deeply and be at peace." this is why i sleep on it every night and i don't wash it.

well, unless someone "accidently" throws it in the laundry, like my mother-in-law ruthie did when jack was born. so nice of her to do some things around the house to help us out at such a time as that, but that was uncalled for. she feigned ignorance and therefore innocence, but she knew what she was doing and was as guilty as o.j. it took months to return it to its proper odor.

so it has now been two and a half years since its been washed. it is wonderful. and then shannon turns 30 and decides to make a list of 30 things she wants for her birthday and one of them turns out to be that she would love it if she could wash my pillowcase. what was i supposed to do? choosing my battles, i decided to let her wash it, a decision i regretted later that night when i plopped my head down on a chemical-laden cloth abrasively ripping at my face like an acidic astringent. all i want to do at night is sleep, not lie in a bed of chemicals that will one day be proved to be causing us all cancer.

and so i simply ask for your sympathy. i am trying to break it in again, but it is a daunting task. it is so white and bright, like a big clean flourescent bulb shining into my brain at night. it hurts. so, when you lie down at night on your dead skin cells and all the bed-bugs eating those cells, think of me in my misery. i have miles to go before i sleep.

way too clean,
greg.

Comments

cathyq said…
It doesn't look very white to me.

Can anyone spell D R A M A Q U E E N ?

Good for you that you love how your dead skin, drool, hair, boogers, snot, eye juice, and ear wax smell, but maybe someone else sleeping in your bed doesn't. Just a thought.
Redbank Billy said…
dude, sometimes I wonder about you........

Peace
Mary said…
i love the way my cacku smells. when i smell it...i feel like a bit of my soul goes back inside. so i can relate that at the end of a tough day...all i want is a little soul rejuvination. goodluck in your endeavors. i find that putting my cacku around my neck and going about my day is always a nice strategy. give that one a try :)
Erin said…
greg,
i was with you for a while and then you just went TOO FAR. i, for one, refuse to wash my actual pillows because i like the sleeped in smell from the same pillow i've had all my life, but the actual pillow case? the one your drool on and, well, let's just leave it at that... two weeks is the most i'll give you on a pillow case...
greg. said…
i have no need to defend myself. it is what it is. it is interesting to me that my own sister can identify with this and agree with me. is it in our genes somehow?

in any case, you can all have your chemically sterile cancer inducing cleanliness. i'll stick with soul.

greg.
mego said…
So I saw Mary's comment about loving the smell of her cacku - which at first glance is very close a certain spanish slang word...had me worried about you Milinovich's for a second!

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…