Friday, April 4, 2008


Her house wasn't the type to have a chore wheel. Her two roommates and her decided in an ad hoc meeting that chore wheels were too cumbersome. Household duties were taken up individually, if at all. The dishes would often pile up building into a small landfill in the kitchen's double sink. Eventually one of the roommates would do some, fill the drying rack, and leave the rest in the sink for the next roommate. Other household labor would be accomplished in a similar haphazard fashion. The bathroom would rarely get cleaned, the living room collected cobwebs in the ceiling corners, the dryer almost caught on fire three times because no one ever emptied the lint trap.

She had woken up from her nap an fifty minutes ago. After ten minutes of laying in bed with her eyes closed she spent five minutes in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about getting out of bed. She got out of her bed, put on sweat pants and a shirt. She assumed the shirt was clean because it was closer to her pile of clean clothes that laid on the floor. The assumption was further validated by the lack of stains, or pungent odors. It was eight o'clock at night, and she had overslept by two hours. What would have been a short cat nap after work had turned into a long slumber. She opened her bedroom door and turned left moving through the living room and into the kitchen. She flipped the kitchen light on and looked into the darkness. She turned the switch again, again she looked into darkness.

"Fuck," she said aloud.

She flicked the switch up and down a few times attempting to ignite the light. "Perhaps the motion of the switch will act like a bow and drill lighting a small fire in the room," she thought. After a minute of failure she sighed and moved into the living room. The living room lights worked. She sat down on the couch and pouted for three minutes.

She then decided to raid the emergency house fund and in order to buy some light bulbs. She spent eight minutes looking for the house fund which was in the kitchen. The darkness made the search difficult but she found it next to the telephone book. She brought the jar back into the living room. The jar was left over from previous tenants. They had ingeniously decided to start an emergency house fund. Unfortunately they'd only filled it with loose change and at this point was half filled with pennies. She looked in the jar for four minutes desperately hoping that by staring into it long enough a quarter, or two might appear. Her glaring was for nothing, pennies still remained. She sighed and felt slightly depressed about her monetary situation for two minutes.

She grabbed her keys from her bedroom, slipped on her shoes, threw on a light jacket and walked out the door to her house. She headed for the corner store which was a block away from her house. She became annoyed halfway there as she had to cross the street. The street was busy with traffic. It took her two minutes to cross.

The corner store was owned by a middle eastern man. He had his twenty something sons run the shop while he sat on a stool and brooded. He would shout at them in Arabic when his temper flared because they had undercharged a customer for eggs, a loaf of bread, or a jar of peanut butter.

She spent a few minutes looking around the store for light bulbs. Not finding any she went to the counter.

"Do you have any light bulbs," she asked.

"Let me see," replied the store clerk. The clerk was twenty six and a second generation immigrant. He had worked in the store for his father for ten years intermittently. He had taken a more full time position after his forays into community college failed in parallel to his father's declining health. His father had heart problems. The clerk shuffled behind the counter for one minute. "We have 75 watt bulbs. Is that okay," he asked.


"How many do you want?"

"Uh two."

"Okay," he said. He punched in some numbers into the old style cash register. "Three dollars and fifty-four cents."

"Thanks," she replied giving him four dollars.

"No problem." He handed her back forty six cents, four dimes, a nickel and a penny. She put the change in her pocket and grabbed the light bulbs from the counter.

The walk back home was a little quicker as there was no traffic. She unlocked her door and went immediately into the kitchen. Using the dim light from the living room she found where the kitchen light dangled. She unscrewed the light bulb and shook it. It rattled slightly proving that it had blown at some point. She took out the new bulb and put it into the socket. She rotated the bulb around until it stuck. She moved to the kitchen switch and flipped it. The light came on and the kitchen was lit. She could see the pile of dishes in the sink. She nodded with satisfaction. She stared into the kitchen for five more minutes and then flipped the switch on and off a few times for good measure.

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