The air, ripe with trash musk, wafted through my studio apartment. Heaps of garbage and laundry dwarfed any and all furniture across this filth den. I was sprawled out on the stain-drenched futon pad, nesting in take-out-box debris and advertising my scantily clad shitty body to the world. This apartment served as testament that there is such a thing as “too comfortable.”
My eyes opened. Instinctively, I foraged for morsels through the crumb-laden rubble. Cleaning was unappetizing, or at least less appetizing than continuing to live in grime. Today would have been another textbook Netflix binge until it was time to start napping, but Saturday tailgate was looming and I had literally nothing clean to wear.
Clean clothes had been extinct in these parts for about nine days now. Laundromat trips had seemed daunting and it had been far simpler to Febreeze my way to smelling un-disgusting in public. However, with my sweet Spiced Pear Febreeze gone and seemingly stolen or lost in a garbage pile, I was in need of another tactic in order to keep my odor unobjectionable.
Gears in my head started spinning, scheming to unearth an easy, half-assed solution. My mantra, “the right way is overrated,” echoed throughout the shitbox. Curiosity struck. The dishwasher had been historically good at cleaning my plates of the non-paper variety and I wondered if said one-trick pony could be taught something new.
Like myself, this dishwasher was a crafty veteran calloused by too much time in a college apartment. It had, no doubt, seen its fair share of barf buckets, sauce-encrusted plates, and users equating that shampoo is the same thing as detergent. This kitchen appliance was like an elderly man, stingy and partially broken yet unafraid of death.
Internet articles did not instill confidence. Most message board users seemed to think I was an “idiot,” “retard,” or “butt-munching friendless virgin” for even considering. I didn’t care. They had no idea what it was like to be gripped by destiny.
Darks, coloreds, whites, I loaded them all into my de-segregated dishwasher. I did strategically leave out underwear, as I lacked confidence in my own thoroughness and the dishwasher’s overall effectiveness. I didn’t want this endeavor to become an embarrassing story to relay whenever people in the future asked how I contracted Hepatitis A.
The rush of ingenuity surged through me. The dishwasher and I were taking a plunge in the name of scientific discovery. Fortune favors the bold. With gusto, I slammed the door shut and started the Pots and Pans cycle—out of shear confidence and because a lot of my clothes had been caked with food, gristle, and grease.
Just ninety seconds in, I was flooded with self-satisfaction. My ego was now running wild, completely unchecked. I poured a, now-celebratory, morning whiskey and started Google-ing Scientific American’s submission process.
Twenty smug minutes later reality punched me in the mouth. Water was now flooding all over the linoleum. I peaked inside, releasing even more water. A sock had clogged in the back drain. Cursed by my own hubris, it was time to abort.
Casually and with adult-like foresight, I retrieved my drill and made a small hole in the floor to responsibly drain all this unwanted water away from me and into someone else’s life.
My next innovation will be a plausible lie to tell the landlord and downstairs neighbor.