Backman Overdrive

Do I wish I was a prepper, now that store shelves are depleted? Yes, a little, but I still contend that I don’t have storage for superfluous food.
Ask me in a week, when the chocolate donut gems are a memory and Bubs is seeking yet another bag of baked Lays potato chips.
THEN I’ll fervently wish I was more of a prepper, and ALSO that I had more pantries.
But for NOW, while Social Distancing, in a county newly besieged by a lone despicable case of COVID-19, I CLEAN.
And I don’t just spot-clean like I’ve done all my life, nope, not today.
Today, I BACKMAN clean.
My favorite author wrote somewhere that he cleans a bathroom like a rabid tornado — not just a REGULAR tornado, a RABID one — and though I may have altered things a bit, in my head I see a gloved, snarling, middle-aged, blondish man armed with Lysol-equivalent spray bottles, wringing a soapy sponge, gutturally snorting and diving into the bowels of the most disgusting room in any home.
I channeled the vision and did the same. I CLEANED, people, I ATTACKED, with a fervor never seen in my fifty years. The tub GLOWS, the toilet GLEAMS, the floors are unwrapped from their coating of don’t-ask-just-remove accumulated over these many moons.
I cleaned so hard that the walls look MORE beige, THAT’S how vicious I was with the scrubbing brush, the anti-septic wipes, the numerous sponges that now reside in the big blue trash can outside.
I went all BACKMAN on it, then I did it AGAIN…because there are two bathrooms…and now I’m frenzied, hopped up on fumes and redolent sounds of blaring heavy metal reverberating around one-chick army of clean.
I’m slightly deafened…perhaps the sound could have been lower.
I’m exhausted…attacking filth is hard work.
My dermis is alligator-like, dry, hardened, moisture-depleted from so very many chemicals.
And I’m discouraged…because Bubs has finally risen, disappeared into the belly of the spotless restroom, and I’m going in there….never. It’s officially dead space to me.
So THAT’S good news. No more cleaning THAT area of the house.
But the I caught a glimpse of the feet of the stove. Have you ever seen the feet of YOUR stove? I’m going to need a nap before Going Backman on THAT.

So Glad to See You, March

Three Things:
1. I hate February.
2. Kismet brings the best dogs to me.
3. I’ve been on a search for mindfulness.
Last Monday, I talked myself into heading to the gym after taking Bubs to school. As is usual, our Pekingese, Mr. Pugglesworth III, rode along for Bubs’ delivery to said school.
Because it was Monday. Pugsy knows that every Monday, after I leave the gym, I drive through the McDonald’s line for a medium hot mocha for me — because “medium” is a size at McDonald’s, bless them — and a yogurt parfait for him.
Last Monday, the road to the gym was doubled time-wise, as construction vehicles had set upon the planet and removed huge chunks of my route, forcing traffic to crawl in a lane we usually at least toddled. It’s never been a quick route, no doubt, but to double the time, on a morning I didn’t wish to travel that route in the first place, increased my resentment of my mission to Get Fit, Get Strong, Fight Aging.
But after the arduous journey, I parked the vehicle, strode into the gym, scanned my ID so I would get credit for having made the epic quest, used the restroom, and accomplished one plank before thinking, “I want to be with my dog,” and leaving the establishment.
To be clear: forty minutes on the road, ten minutes at the gym, including the walking time into and out of the building from the space where I parked.
Free, I drove my pup jubilantly toward the McDonald’s where I ordered the appropriate food stuffs and Pugsy was appropriately coo-ed upon before leaving the drive-through and heading home to drink coffee and eat yogurt. (I eat the berries; they’re virtually frozen and delicious.)
The next day, I returned home after work to find my Mr. Pugglesworth dying beneath a tree after crawling over an acre, away from the dog fight of his life, to burrow under the evergreen’s limbs and wait for darkness.
Long, long story shorter, my Pugs is alive.
He walks, he tries too hard, he weakens quickly and exhausts even faster; he is still compelled to bring mulch into the house, he hates to be left alone, he barks on occasion, and he lists to the right when he walks.
Number 4: my son suffers from anxiety issues, and Number 5, he had an enormously important task for school this week, one that would affect his grade, and Number 6, this was the worst week for something tragic to happen.
Number 7: I prayed a lot this week, for miracles, for guidance, for patience, for Bubs and Pugs equally.
It was a solid week of waves of affirmations and positive thoughts treading water with reality and prayers to not be beached.
But at last — remember Number 1? — yesterday my son, after all that we’d endured, all the prayers, all the sobbing and gasping and tortured days, my son said on a sunny, seventy-five degree Sunday, “Hey, Mom?”
“Yes, my baby.”
“It’s March 1st.”
1. We survived February.
2. This dog is our perfect companion.
3. Screw mindfulness. I had enough awareness of every moment this last week that I need to coast a while.