It is SO HARD to keep ahead of life's inevitable decay. It seems like every day I am confronted with yet another trivial piece of wear-and-tear that requires my attention: a burnt out lightbulb, a dirty litterbox, a full garbage can, a dirty tub, a carpet covered with lint and shucked-off cat claws.
It occurred to me recently that, with the exception of the spontaneously-generating sowbugs in my basement, stuff is falling apart around me all the time. Only by expending our carefully-conserved energy can we keep ahead of the rot. No wonder I get exhausted! No wonder I'm discouraged! No wonder I can't play "Dwarf Fortress" all day!
I manage to ignore this "everyday decay" until my environment becomes unlivable, or until I need to do laundry. Then I go into a flurry of superficial cleaning: empty the garbages, collect the recycling, pay the bills, move a pile of useless junk from the center of the room to the corner that I reserve specifically for the storage of useless junk.
When I'm done I feel vibrant and alive and capable! Then I feel like I deserve a treat, and-how! Minutes later -- with the surface barely scratched -- I'm watching a movie while things fall apart around me again. The dust collects, the pop cans pile up, the plants die.
Ronnie O'Vera, you were a good cactus, and the only plant that thrived under my care. I don't know why you finally died -- the long winter, the botched re-potting, the bugs that arrived with that other plant my mom bought me -- but when I pulled your hard, curled-up carcass out of the dirt I felt a tiny twinge of remorse.
I didn't love you, but I'll miss you. Rest in landfill.