Sunday, 30 March 2014

Les aventures érotiques d'janitor

It is with great sadness that I must announce that due to my unfortunate financial circumstances, resulting in owed back rent to my unsympathetic landlady (who wears a shower cap to the grocery store just to let you know where she's coming from because she's afraid head lice lurk down every aisle along with radon rays from orbiting satellites that she claims interfere with her ability to match wits with the contestants on Family Feud) and thus my impending eviction from my roomy one-room with hotplate and stacked milk crate wardrobe abode, I have been forced to put my life of the mind on temporary hold as I turn to a life of labour, if not love instead, specifically that of the janitorial arts. Yes, I, who have lectured in all the great universities and intellectual cafes of the world, from the Sorbonne (the one in Paris, Ontario and actually called the Sore Bun Cafe & Bakery and where I'm currently banned from entering due to an incident with a cinnamon bun, galoshes, a pair of barbeque tongs, a man's thong, denture cream and too much Sudafed coursing through my bloodstream but I think they'll come around soon) to Phil's Heating and Duct Cleaning College & Taxidermy Repair Service, just outside of St. Paul, Minnesota and only a bowling ball's throw away from the Mississippi (Phil trains all his heating and duct cleaning graduates by having them heave bowling balls into the river from twenty feet away to strengthen their arms and ready them for a life of furnace-room toil not to mention the precision they will require to insert glass eyes into moose heads, trophy fish and naturally posed dead amphibians wearing sombreros strumming guitars and/or smoking cigars), am now a proud janitorial custodian with not just one, but two connecting condominium complexes under my watchful eye and let me tell you, I do not approach this responsibility lightly. Equally so, I do not use the term "janitorial arts" lightly either for the nuances, intricacies and finer points of vacuuming, mopping, stainless steel polishing, Windexing, recycling and fishing the odd poisoned dead rat out of the gaps between the stairwell landings, has made me appreciate that these are not just mere cleaning tasks, but part of a larger picture of existential angst and the search for meaning in decomposing carpeting, both metaphorically and with cleaning products whose chemical compounds have been known to cause tumors in both tuna and those who work in close vicinity to lottery ticket machines, not to mention the attention to detail worthy of a Vermeer, both in composition and the beauty hidden in the routine of everyday living, lost in seemingly never-ending hallways where every door is locked to your curiosity and the only knobs that open to your grip (and key ring) belong to fire exit doors and various utility rooms behind which only more emptiness awaits (along with a couple of drains in which you like to pee). Samuel Beckett should have been so lucky (Waiting For Mr. Clean?). Or Franz Kafka for that matter considering the amount of pests I've come across fleeing for cover at the approach of my vacuum and the baseboards and nameless doors sealed up too tight for them to escape, closed to their frenzied scuttling (actually, they manage to creep under the doorjambs quite successfully if I'm not quick enough with my hose attachment so I imagine some pest control company should be notified soon), so their only recourse is to turn and beg me to spare their verminous little lives and I become both judge, janitor and executioner all at once, urged on by the bureaucratic body of the all-controlling condo Strata council who I have no problem describing as the kissing cousins of an Eastern-European dictatorship circa the 1930ish Soviet-fueled era when pesticide was food and Stalin would dress in a clown suit and make-up in his private room in the Kremlin before entertaining his troops like Bob Hope, but a Bob Hope that hates golf but likes murdering hundreds of thousands of people. Of course golfers have been known to murder people too, but not quite as many and usually they just hit the person with a nine-iron a couple of times, run them over with their golf cart and then dump them in the water hazard where hoepfully the snapping turtles will make short work of their meaty bodies.
This is the fate that awaits Kafka's cockroach alter-ego, where not only are you subjected to waking up in an insect body, but are then captured and transported from your European homeland to America's shores where you are then forced to engage in cockroach races for the fun and fancy of saucy American dames who derive some form of twisted erotic pleasure from seeing vermin scuttle to the finish line, very much like their ever-absent husbands as they attempt to amass great fortunes on Wall St. whilst crushing the carapaces of their competitors and enjoying Waldorf Salads on the forty-second floor of a skyscraper named after their grandfather unless that grandfather is named Yitzi Schlomberger, in which case your office is probably on a fourth-floor walk-up over an egg roll factory.
Many of those dispossessed cockroaches weren't so lucky to be racing in the Kentucky Derby of the vermin world and were instead sold into slavery and forced to smuggle cigarettes for convicts from cell to cell. One such cockroach, a Stanislav Versht, told his story to a New York Times columnist who turned it into a 1930's bestseller, The Cigarette-Smuggling Cockroach of Cell Block 6.
Now, did I say a life of labour and not of love? Well, love's labour is not lost after all for here begins the erotic adventures of a janitor (or Les aventures érotiques d'janitor, because everything sounds better in French except for the word 'fenetre,' which sounds more like some kind of toenail fungus or a Tupperware container full of some unidentifiable hair adhered to a small mesa of rotting glutinous matter that once masqueraded as food instead of a window that you might actually like to gaze through, say at a marauding woodchuck chewing its way through an old pair of pantyhose it has found and dragged from a garbage bin behind the Ahoy Matey senior citizen's home along with some discarded meds it had previously eaten causing the poor creature to puff up like a ptomaine-tainted can of beans), a journey I had no idea I was about to embark upon when I took the job. My boss said nary a word about what erotically charged exploits awaited me as the only janitor in what I was soon to find was a love-starved condominium complex. Passion lingered around ever corner, in every stairwell and sometimes even down in the underground garage and recycling and garbage room, where many tenants were sloppy with their personal refuse and thus their secret urges and desires stood out like a severed sore thumb or a discarded valentine's card balanced atop a cardboard bucket filled with mildly-aged breaded and partially bitten chicken livers. It was a tell-tale heart down in that garbage room and the tale it told beat and throbbed with desire (and partially-eaten breaded chicken livers) and little did I realize that as a cleaning custodian, Cupid's lusty arrows would soon be directed at me (not even a Kevlar vest can withstand that force or trajectory), even at my weakest moments like say, Windexing the windows in the lobby foyer, my concentration so extreme I was unaware of my paunch jutting from my t-shirt alluringly, much like the breathtaking breach of a beluga in a rundown marine park just before the morning feeding when a certain dawning sense of mundanity and hopelessness overtakes even the most docile and incarcerated of beings, causing them to flex their atrophied muscles in a final show of useless and yet symbolic freedom, sometimes inadvertently, which only heightens the erotic nature of their imprisoned bodies as they are caught unawares by nubile admirers (although sometimes that nubility is hard to discern beneath the heavily-quilted bathrobes, support-hose, dust-bunny covered slippers, hairnets and the quixotic cigarette-smoke squint that animates the right side of a face in such a provocative way that illustrates both beauty and age in one windswept facial landscape like the craggy cliff face where the puffins roost and mate when the November winds blow hard against the rocky Newfoundland coast). Well, that's me in a nutshell, so to speak.
The creation of the janitor's paunch using the JP-XL-3 or "paunch pumper" as it's so affectionately called within the business. Not everyone can afford one so many janitors rely on the old standby of beer, sausage, dead raccoon meat and uncooked macaroni.
My first day on the job and the air was alive with erotic possibilities, from the twittering of birds calling to their mates to the sound of my neighbour, Litvack, declaring he had found a cure for erectile dysfunction using cucumber seeds. I heard him mate not once, but twice, with his inflatable wife, such was the successful outcome of his home-remedy and his lusty grunts echoed down the alleyway, followed by the commending shouts of fellow rooming-house dwellers yelling, "Jesus, Litvack, shut the fuck up or shut your window for fuck's sake. We can hear you squeaking on top of that rubber thing all the way down the block. It sounds like you're fucking a rubber dinghy." When you wake to that it certainly puts the day into a priapic, not to mention romantic perspective and it was heigh ho, off to work I go for me, a little bent over from a sense of wonder not to mention the erection in my sweat pants. Could a love such as Litvack had found also be waiting for me?
The above images are inserted here in order to illustrate where I differ from other janitorial custodians on the technique of mop wringing. I stand second to no man nor woman when it comes to squeezing out a mop head and where others are satisfied to merely wring twice, giving a single clockwise twist for the second squeeze (as show above), I use a clockwise and then counter-clockwise twist, thus adding a third wring, reducing the amount of excess water while not sacrificing the mop's cleaning power and efficiency (after all, we have only one planet and it's our responsibility to save as much water as possible for future generations to mop with).
I filled my mop bucket and ascended to the lobby foyer, making a perfunctory check of the tastefully inset chrome lobby waste bin where someone had seen fit to dump some untouched pork dumplings. Should I eat them, I wondered? After all, on my salary I needed to get my sustenance where ever I could find it at the cheapest price possible. Still, how would it appear if I, the trusted building janitor, were to be seen eating pork dumplings out of the garbage bin. However, considering the erotic adventures I was soon to find flung in my well-mopped path, I needed food energy to maintain my janitorial virility. In the end I compromised and surreptitiously tucked the uneaten pork pot stickers into my pockets saving them for later when I could ravenously consume them in the safety and security of the boiler room. Thankfully, no one saw me cramming pork dumplings into my pant's pockets.
It was not long after this that I was to have my first erotic encounter in the complex. On my first day on the job no less. There I was vacuuming the fourth floor hallway carpeting, using the hand-held hose nozzle for the more difficult suction-resisting dirt and lint covered sections when I felt a tug on my vacuum cleaner cord. I turned around only to find that my cord had come to the end of its length and was pulling at the wall socket and the vacuum cleaner simultaneously. It was a good twenty feet back for me to walk back to unplug the cord when from around the corner of the L-shaped hallway a woman and a small child appeared. The woman was elderly I believe (I couldn't be completely certain due to a series of flickering lights in the hallway I had been instructed to change but hadn't gotten around to yet and so there was some visual trickery afoot) but she was not without her charms, her stocky figure alluringly outlined in a polyester-blend pantsuit. As I smiled at her she smiled back, her capped teeth catching the flickering light in a captivating manner and then she did an amazing thing. She bent down, unplugged the cord from the wall socket and shuffled towards me barefoot with the most darling gnarled toes that I could only imagine curling (well, they were already quite curled but I'm sure there was room for a centimeter more or two) from orgasmic pleasure. We met halfway and she held out the cord to me, the child beside her holding her hand and gazing at some snot on the finger of its free hand.
"Eh, eh, eh," she grunted at me beaming and then she spoke to me in some lilting foreign language-Eastern European, Cantonese, Finnish-I'm not sure which, so bewitched was I by her grace and sparse but well-coiffed hair. I took the plug from her and for a moment our eyes met, or I think they did for hers were clouded by cataracts (or perhaps it was just that her glasses were so heavily smudged, probably by the greasy fingerprints of the ungrateful wretch she was minding), but I knew, instantly, that if it weren't for the child in tow (her grandchild, perhaps or maybe a child she was raising for internal organ harvesting for who knows what really goes on in these condo complexes), the two of us would be doing the Last Tango In Paris by way of Burnaby, Vancouver, British Columbia on a freshly vacuumed carpet no less, our highly endurable but equally highly flammable clothing shed and strewn with abandon near the fire exit as we made the beast-with-two-backs, a goiter and a shin-splint. With a pair of oven mitts, the picture would've been complete.
She turned to leave but the child kept yelling, "Vacuum, vacuum," and she shrugged apologetically so I ran the machine a bit to appease the child and prolong the erotic encounter between myself and the woman (internal organ harvester? nanny? grandmother?).
Sometimes the most erotic moments are those of the unanswered calls of nature (I mean lovemaking of course, not bowel movements) and I knew that, even with this unrequited encounter, its memory would dance indefinitely upon the fibers of my brain like light speckling a stagnant mosquito-infested pool of water much like the one in the empty lot behind my rooming-house where starry-eyed lovers often come to meet, exchange money and copulate behind the discarded rusty washing machine. As I've said, eroticism is in the air everywhere, even with your pants down around your ankles in a junk-filled lot with mosquitoes biting your buttocks and the object of your desire checking her text messages in between your thrusts. But love conquers all, except, perhaps, if you're caught soliciting a prostitute but there is a chance you may even find love in the lock-up too.
And so begins les aventures érotiques d'janitor, my first day already a success and only the tip of love's iceberg as I was soon to discover. Further erotic adventures assailed me like dust mites from a full vacuum cleaner bag and so stay tuned for more libidinous and lascivious trysts from I, your humble narrator and condominium custodian. As for those pork dumplings, I retired to the boiler room not long after my encounter with the internal organ harvester and devoured them ravenously and may I say, each bite among the hissing of the steam pipes was like nibbling on the soft lips of a sensual lover.

No comments:

Post a Comment