Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Breaking The Mold

Last night I noticed a smell coming from my bedroom closet. Now, before you go there, let me say up front that this was a regular G-rated smell. This wasn’t some “oh, really, Adcox?” kind of smell which you’re already imagining in that dirty mind of yours, Verna. Oh, no. This, my friends, was a Black-Plague-of-Death-So-Call-The-CDC kind of smell. This odor, at first faint for about a week, eventually became overwhelming. It wasn’t of some field mouse that wandered in, got lost in the maze of 402 car magazines, 779 old documents, forty-seven screwdrivers, seventeen plastic crates, two chairs, one dining table leaf, and a pair of sweat pants from 1998, and died of boredom.
This, my friends, was downright sinister.

It was the smell of mold.

The best time to smell mold, of course, is at 11:50 pm. This ensures that, after you’ve showered all of the day’s sweat from your body and feel relaxed, you’ll be more attuned to the smell coming from your walk-in closet. This is critical to the sudden adrenaline rush you’re going to experience sometime within the next .02 seconds.

Now, cranking up one’s stress levels after taking a long, soothing shower is unpleasant enough, but stepping into one’s closet and being met with “squish” under your left foot compels one to throw one’s copy of “Politically Correct Bedtime Stories” across the room in anguish and disgust. One presses forward, however, and does what must be done. In my case, that means a trip to WalMart for a caulking gun and a cheap, disposable towel with which to begin drying the carpet. Disgusting, black deposits of mold have formed, leaving me to Rambo by way through the mess with a bottle of bleach and water. Dividing and conquering my way to the November 1986 copy of “Architectural Digest” -now soaked and covered with something commonly found in a Petri dish- I work my way back to the doorway of the closet. This, my comrades, is extremely touch-and-go; the wire for cable TV has, over the course of a year and a half, wrapped itself in a death-grip around an old vanity light I’ve been attempting to recondition. In turn, the light has somehow attracted an ac adapter I’ve had since Reagan’s second term. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know either.

This makeshift recreation of an octopus battling with a squid is the final obstacle separating me from freedom. There’s a slim chance that I’ll make it out, but it’s a chance I have to take. This mission is going to be as drawn out as a Donald Trump speech; having sopped up the moldy water, I now have to reconcile with the fact that the towel -now not only filthy, but moldy- will soon be scheduled for a swan dive into the dumpster.

Perhaps the most joyous part of the evening was caulking around the tub in nothing less than a heroic attempt to keep the shower from leaking into the wall. I have nightmares of mold, turning a nitrogen-rich black and snaking its way up, commando-style, into the apartments above and next to mine. The silent stalker, seeping its way into rooms inhabited by waitresses, students, and really good gin players is more than this semi-old man can endure.

Excuse me. As maudlin as that sounds, I’ve actually staved off any and all mold (we won’t discuss the contents of my refrigerator). I’m exhausted -nay drained-from my battle with acres of trespassing flora, but I’ll live in spite of millions of hostile spores.

Sure is a breath of fresh air.

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