On dust and habits

July 10, 2022

There is probably no more "mindfulness" than this time spent over a bowl to eliminate the necessary. We dare to overthink what is coming out; our mind goes elsewhere, and our gaze stupidly scans the limited horizon of the bathroom.

Sometimes, especially at night, during a nocturnal emptying, one can see this or that insect, surprised by the dim light, crawling towards an invisible food. I have an old house; it has long been inhabited by creatures that are harmless to humans, self-cleaning, useful destroyers.

The daytime shows a cruder spectacle, especially the dust that accumulates without being noticed. Let’s say that, living alone, I have a more or less faithful relationship with dust.

This morning, however, I felt the call of the hoover; the traces, one might say deep, on the scale gave me the signal to put things in order. I was still fascinated to see my feet on the scale, and I always seemed to put them in the same place. I don’t take my weight every day, but the area where I put my feet is the cleanest. If it were cement, I’d probably make artifacts of it for future archaeologists.

In short, our habits are probably related to hygiene or a desire for security. For example, the order on my computer is superior to my house’s. My sheets are cleaner than my kitchen floor, and the glass in my glasses is shinier than the bathroom mirror. The same goes for my teeth since my dentist warned me that there was danger in the gums.

In the reefs of the warm seas, tiny fish wait for a turtle to park near them. It’s time for a carapace pick. The fish then get busy, and once they have had their fill and the animal’s interior is clean, they return to the corral to wait for the next customer.

In the salons, the hairdressers wait for ladies or gentlemen to sit on a chair. They don’t so much feed on hair or dandruff, but in return for a certain amount of money, put their clients’ natural selves in order. It’s all the same to me, a kind of atavistic cycle.

But the dust never says its last word. These pampered clients may be hiding in wetter, less well-groomed areas. If the gums are healthy, what about the liver?

The pristine state is a utopia. A little dust never hurt anyone, but my mother would disagree; she has such a fine nose that she can smell the accumulation of dirt like others see auras.

This morning, I weighed again, and my weight was stable, and I don’t know if this is a good sign. Still, it’s time to vacuum the house before diving back into the healthy sleep of my habits.

The day my house is always clean, I wonder what state my mind will be in...