The Vacuum

Even after it stopped working, it sat in the garage for a long time, languishing.   Originally I was attracted to the design, the superior suction.   I was seduced by the yellow, the shiny – the fact that I could take it apart and put it together like any building toy – and reassemble it for a different function.

I thought it would be eternal.

Like Legos.   That it would constantly reinvent itself.

Again, like Legos.

In its prime, it could make any rug look new, could attract all matter of dust and detris in a matter so satisfactory that it gave me great pleasure.

I loved that vacuum.

So after I cleaned it thoroughly, feeling super proud of myself for being so fastidious, it sat in the garage because I couldn’t get it to work.   Then, ashamed that even I, handy as I am, couldn’t coax it back into its amazing self.

When I finally could face my shame – about three years later – I put the vacuum in the car.   I felt especially victorious that I had gotten that far.

I drove to the vacuum repair shop.   I left it, looking back for only a minute…

And I waited.

For a few weeks.

And then a few more.   I knew that it was probably ready for me but I wasn’t quite ready to bring it home.   Then the phone call: “Hello! This is the repair shop – you know you have a vacuum here that has not been picked up….”

“oh, I completely forgot – I am so sorry” – I lied to the woman.     The fact was that I was thinking about my yellow vacuum, wondering how it was doing. “I’ll be in soon to get it….” I promised.

It was another two weeks before I drove over there to pick it up.   After I paid for it and put it in my car, it then stayed in the car four more days before I took it out.

What procrastination!

The vacuum, helper of helpers who could clear my life of dust and detris, had returned home.

In the same way that I couldn’t bring myself to have it repaired, to pick it up, to bring it home and to bring it into the house I often procrastinate on fixing myself…on rebuilding myself…instead wishing that I wouldn’t have had to change….that I could be eternal.

But alas, I have to rebuild. I have to reinvent myself to be able to stay clean of the accumulating debris of life.

I can be bright and shiny, like my vacuum.

Like Legos.


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