• Richard Scrimger

sacred mindless tasks

Dusting. I've been at it for a half hour, and in that time I've thought of ... well, let's see. I approached the TV set and console-thingy it sits on, thinking of how long it had been since I last dusted (at least an administration ago), and then as I applied my dampened j-cloth in a circular motion, my mind roamed free, like a vulture over the Serengeti, looking for something dead to feast on. I thought of the way an old girlfriend bit her upper lip when she was excited, of dinner last night (couscous with peppers and onions and sausage slices in a spiced broth), and how maybe cumin would have helped, of how good the new Son Volt cd is, and how not quite so good the new Sigur Ros disc, and of how cul8r is faster than see you later, but dumber. By now I had finished the TV set and moved on the the coffee table. Followed the couch, deep window sill and standing lamp with the goose-neck side feature. A positive dust trap, that one. I dusted and thought, picking through my past and current events, and coming out in favour of hb pencils and crunchy peanut butter and boxer-briefs and French roasted coffee and kissing. And dusting. Because without mind-freeing tasks, I would not have been able to indulge in this delightful thought ramble. I lack the mental discipline to daydream for its own sake. I need an excuse. Left on my own, I find tasks for my mind. But when already engaged on a simple task -- a beautiful repetitive mind-numbing, freeing task -- then I can allow myself the luxury of a real speculation. It's philosophy without rigour or cares. There may even be a name for it. But I'm not going to look it up. The j-cloth is dirty -- time to rinse.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada