The hab is a mess. Pretty much all of it.

It’s mostly surface – on a deep level everything is clean. Clean enough. No one is going to get sick or anything but still, it’s a mess.

It hits me every time I enter the hab. It claws at me, scratching against my brain. Instantly putting me in a state of unrest. Makes me snappy. On edge.

Sure, the kid’s pods are the worst. You would expect that. Can’t tackle that now, don’t have the energy. That’s one for the weekend.

I’ll tackle the kitchen and the living pod. Both easy enough, machine-cleaners will help me with the worst of it and it’s an area that you see and spend time in, fixing it will take some pressure off.

Stacking the washer makes short work of the kitchen,  its slowed by the occasional manual examination: determining if any pre-work is required, if the leftovers of last night’s rations are baked on too hard for the washer to deal with on its own.

Already feeling better.

Now the main communal pod, which is a bigger task. Not really messier, but the clutter is more spread out. The tasks required are bigger; more time consuming, fewer machines to help.

The communal table is a mass of discarded detritus. Data Slates, Pulps, odd gloss mags and piles of paper. Pictures of dinosaurs, dragons and other unspecified creatures from the kid’s imaginations. They haven’t gone digital yet. Not totally.

I make neat piles, plug in the data slates.

Carefully, alright not so carefully, consider each picture. Throw them; there’ll be more.

A pile of ironing looms in the corner. Two kids means a never-ending stream of clothes to wash and press. Me and Ze try and stay on top of it, but to do so would mean we never stopped – so it accumulates. Waiting for one of us to plug in the iron. How is there not a better way to do this, yet?

The hab was brand-new less than six years ago, most of it feels ruined, now. Again, that is only at a surface level, but still. The carpet is stained, bits of ration litter the floor from the kid’s last meal. Get out the vac, it is one of the most satisfying and noticeable parts of cleaning.  Had one of those auto-vacs, for a while, but it didn’t take; the mess from the two kids is to much for one robot to handle.

Have to do it manually now.

Still a lot of work to do, but better.

I feel better.

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