on making it look easy

on making it look easy

my father takes me down to the basement to show me the “multipurpose room”—which turns out to be the space under the stairs completely converted for utility storage—it’s been brilliantly and perfectly organized, and I ask him how he’s managed it, and he gives me the name of some organization consulting company. then he’s telling me how my mother hadn’t wanted to get rid of her something-or-other and so there are gallons and gallons of what looks like whole wheat flour in plastic milk jugs, which she’ll doubtless never use—but still I feel sorry for her in the face of my father’s rage for order— it seems so ruthless, steamrolling everything in its path. we go into the laundry room, which has also been completely transformed, and I say, hang on, how many laundry machines do you have in here? and he looks smug and smiles and says, just wait—and it’s clear he has several set up for specific purposes and plans to give me a demonstration—they’re all professional grade, and everything’s neat and shiny, and somehow I’m just disgusted by the excess and single-mindedness.

I’m hang-gliding—or somehow not actually me hang-gliding, but virtually, like watching as if I’m right there a demonstration of what not to do—he’s hot-dogging—an expert, so he can get away with it—but the commentator’s pointing out how foolhardy and dangerous his maneuvers are, letting go of the handles and swinging free in space—and he’s clowning and looks so happy, and we swoop along with him—then he’s low over the water when he regains control, never seeming to worry, and swoops it up and inland over the roofs of the houses, just clearing them—and I ask, isn’t that kind of close? and the commentator tut-tuts and says, that’s what happens when you goof around and cut it close—but really all I can see is how fun it looked and how he made it look so easy.

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