I’ve painted apartments that were occupied by people who did nothing but smoke cigarettes for thirty years, never cleaned. We had to scrape and peel the resin off the walls with a drywall knife. It peeled off in big sheets, like nicotine wallpaper. I’ve seen animals slaughtered for a ritual and thrown under a bed. Straight-up hoarders barely merit a mention. Neatly stacked newsprint and egg cartons are a breeze to lug out, no matter how much of it there is.
He’s referring to a woman living like an animal, so where he’s PCingly replaced “she” with “they”, I’m putting the “she” back in:
You’ll notice that the person was obviously fastidious about [her] own clothes, hanging neatly in the closet. [She] was fussy about what [she] was eating, after a fashion.
Don’t know how many experiences you’ve had of people living like pigs – I’ve had two of note and unfortunately, one of them concerned my tenants when they had to be thrown out decades ago. Interesting that the pigswill they left behind and the tatts all over them contrasted with mail in the box from the “Young Sophisticates Club”.
I don’t think you can call this attitude overly bourgeois, as there are many tales of working class homes which were spotless and of people taking themselves off to evening literary clubs for self-improvement. Just what is the X factor which leads some to be happy to exist in a pigsty and others to rail at the very idea?
Also, there’s a difference between grimy and untidy. Holmes was untidy and liked to shoot VR into the wall of his digs but the place was basically clean. I know someone with a mess in one room but no dust – the mess is actually a system whereby he knows exactly how to put his hands on what he needs – if someone “tidied it up”, the system would be lost.
We had a girl who was secretary to my boss and I got to know her on Blackpool beach once. She seemed normal – looked after herself, dressed well – but there was an incident involving her digs in a hostel where my colleague also had a room. Colleague said they’d not seen the girl for days and a smell was coming out of her room. Handyman was called, they got into the room, she wasn’t there but the foulest sight imaginable was and the eau-de-toilet trumped all. She must have been just pooping in there to save going to the bathroom down the corridor.
I remember she was a mad-keen Oasis fan and wore red. Glad now she did not extend her charms to me.
Going to the other extreme, Baden-Powell said that good bushmen never “rough it” – they make the best of what they have. Having said all that, you’d look at my place, with its bare walls and minimalist, sparse decor, if it could be called that and ask how I can live like that. The answer is – in a modular fashion. I’ve one hard box, for example, which doubles for all sorts – somewhere to put the keyboard, somewhere to sit, a sidetable by the bed at night. The bed itself is an eye-opener – there isn’t one – only a set of parts which come together two minutes before crashing and which go away next morning. Works fine.
Yet the kitchen is clean and the food almost always fresh, cut up and cooked at the time, glass of red at the ready. Drinking glasses are glistening. The clothes are washed and [in the main] ironed, hanging in an open closet. Hands are washed after the loo and so on. You are no doubt a cut above that.
So how do such people as at the end of that link live like that? What thoughts move around in their brain sludge?