Shuffling about on Sunday afternoon, stepanie decides that the clutter of her life will persist, that she’s spent countless hours sweeping it up into dustpans, organizing it into boxes, pulling it out from under beds, sneezing, and wiping, and cussing under her breath, and loudly, too, and still her home reverts in a matter of hours into the previous state of chaos, that it must be something about her, the law of Stephanie-entropy, whereby everything once-ordered will quickly disintergrate into its original chaotic mess-moold state.
It’s the original sin of the home. The state of fallen grace. It cannot be escaped, except by the redemption of something other-than-Stephanie, something with a mystical power, a savior (though certainly not a man), a goddess of the hearth.
A Merry Maid.
Upon receiving this epiphany, the Five–year-old boy enters, dragging a white towel on the floor that is dirt-sprinkled due to renovation by the gaping mouthed monster also known as the BackHoe. The Four-year-old daughter sheds her wet swim suit on said floor then puts on yet another set of clean clothes, climbs onto the counter and proceeds to “bake.” Boy shoves wet swimming trunks under bed then proceeds to put on the clothes he wore before swimming. A small miracle. Oh wait. Those are the only clothes he’s got left.
Stephanie then discovers that Merry Maids are available for absolution only once a week–at the most, which means that the other six days she will undoubtedly be living in sin.
She pours a dark and frothy beer into a glass, and decides then that a Merry Maid, though she’d certainly make things beautiful for one day, would only make things worse for six, knowing what the one day of virtue was like, and knowing it to be unattainable without the higher power of the Maid. She then contemplates ways to make the sin a little more enjoyable. The Boy walks in grasping Ted the toad in both hands. “Look, Mom! We found Ted AGAIN!’