They race from area to area, brandishing spray bottles while carrying washcloth shields. They kick up dust, only making this illness progress to a far greater level as they sneeze and cough, their lungs in distress under so much pressure.
Just before their recovery from this horrid condition, their skin cracks or itches and they fall into exhaustion. Even more strange, they do so with a satisfied smile on their lips, as though brain cells have been depleted in the process.
I'm happy to say that I've never been one to succumb to this. Thus far in life, I've avoided it in its entirety.
Unfortunately, I appear to have fallen victim, as of late, to what appears to be a mutation of this ailment:
The Autumn Purging
This is a strange condition that appears to be a mutation of what's commonly known as spring cleaning. From what I've been able to piece together, it doesn't pass from person to person. Instead, it's carried by the cool autumn wind. Many appear to have an immunity to it, such as my immunity to its springtime counterpart, but those that are unlucky enough to catch this ailment are in for quite a ride.
A compulsion to purge the area of every last leaf, the overpowering need for a sparkling clean rain gutter, sudden visual intensity that forces the victim to see each and every brown spot in the yard, irrational sadness as the victim realizes that they're powerless to do anything about the brown spots, bursts of energy that occur sporadically as a leaf falls, tunnel vision, and finally, exhaustion.
It starts abruptly, and with little to no warning. The trigger is a single area that is in need of the purging.
|My trigger was the front sidewalk.|
A few leaves leapt into the air, and my eyes followed them back down to the ground.
No, down to the top of an entire pile of leaves. A pile that reached around seven inches high at its peak. A big, no... a huge pile of brown, dry, crunchy leaves that were sure to end up tracked inside the house as they clung to the bottoms of people's shoes.
The specific leaves that I had originally noticed never made it to the ground.
I had contracted that horrible ailment. The Autumn Purging had me in its grasp. There was no going back.
I moved porch furniture. I raked. I swept. I cleaned. I repaired a few cracks in the house's siding. After 3 straight hours of this, combined with crushing leaves roughly into a black bag to fit
more, more, MORE
inside, then re-sweeping and re-raking after my daughter 'helped' me, I was exhausted.
I fell into a chair and smiled, thinking I had finally done enough to take a rest... after, of course, I filled that second bag and threw out a few small items of trash I had found. I was exhausted, but the chair was oh so comfortable.
A leaf fell from the black walnut tree that overhangs the back porch.
I stood up and grabbed the broom.