White Carpet

Jeff spent the weekend ripping out carpet and installing indestructible flooring in the upstairs hallway. It is a corridor that has seen a ridiculous amount of poop and vomit. It’s also seen far too much red punch, blue Sharpie, green playdoh, caramel-colored Coca-cola, white shaving cream, and pink shampoo.

Welcome to mi casa.

While the top layer of that once-white carpet (we didn’t choose it) was a depressing amalgamation of stains, the underbelly was truly a nauseating sight. It needed to go a long time ago.

It’s denouement has blessedly begun..

The replacement flooring is so seriously durable, so easily cleanable, so totally unaffected by standing water and intense scrubbing and objects crashing into it that I want to gaze lovingly on it and sing it’s praises while I caress it with my mop.

It’s difficult to overestimate just how much the poo-packed carpet of Jack’s early childhood was sucking my soul away, Dementor-like. I certainly wanted to shriek like a Dementor when I looked at it, and walked on it, and, heaven forbid, tried to clean a smashed-in deuce off of it.

Well expecto patronum to you, nasty cow pie carpet. We are finished with your disturbing tendency to crunch beneath our feet. We reject your dark high-traffic-spot trails made by the dirt of a thousand footsteps. We are finished with you. You have no more power to depress the heck out of me now that you are lying in a heap on the garage floor.

Who knows how many evenings and weekends of DIY demolition and installation it will take until the old and trashed “white” floor covering yields completely to the man-made wonder-stuff of today. This evening when one boy pooped on the floor and the other in his pants, I dreamed of a speedy timeframe to our ongoing project, even as I recalled a line from the movie Life of Pi.

It’s a moment when the grown-up Pi Patel is recounting his harrowing shipwreck experience in the Pacific Ocean, in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger as his companion. The young writer who listens to his tale of survival ponders it and says, “I’m trying to make sense of what it all means,” to which Pi replies, “It happened. I suffered. Why does it have to mean anything?”

How refreshing the notion that just because something difficult happened, we do not necessarily need to assign a great deal of meaning to it. Crap happens, simply and predictably. It happened to our floor covering. We suffered at the sight of it. Why does it have to mean anything?

It doesn’t mean a thing except that my metaphorical days on a raft adrift on an ocean of filthy carpet with two poopy tigers actually happened. 

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