Friday, October 23, 2020

Do I Have Samantha Stevens' Twitchy Nose, Or What? #ROW80 #Preptober

Here's the #ROW80 #Preptober portion of this post.
This is Ed's office after I got done creating my island of sanity before returning to work on Ed's mess.  I changed my mind about using this room as the sorting and packing station.  I needed someplace less public than the balcony to escape the chaos in between spurts of activity.  So I made my bed on the floor next to the wall adjoining Ed's closet.  I cleared all of Ed's things off his desk and made it mine. I set up a charging station for the many USB chargeable items--lights, power packs, earbuds, speaker, keyboard, androids x 5, mouse x 2 and more. With creative use of a tall chair and a couple cardboard boxes I made a second desk for spreading out papers and tree books and writing by hand.  I didn't advance any of my ROW80 goals since Sunday but by creating this environment I increase my odds of advancing one or more goals by Sunday.

The answer to the question posed by the post title is: Or what.

The photo essay I posted Wednesday morning was a walkthrough tour of Ed's apartment upon my arrival Tuesday afternoon. [Look at your own risk as they cannot be unseen] My intention to spend the night was thwarted by not being able to create a safe enough environment  before Carri had to return to Mom's coupled with having no phone or Internet to reach out for help if necessary.

If you haven't  seen those pictures yet, you might want to go check them out before proceeding as the photos below will be more meaningful and the meaning the title is referencing more poignant. Because the photo essay I'm about to commence shows the apartment conditions less than thirty hours after the first photos were taken.

I will caption the location of the shots briefly and save the explanation for after the last photo.

I tried to trace the same path with similar angles as I did Tuesday.  Keep in mind, the difference between the two sets of photos is under thirty hours.
Crossing the Threshold Facing the Long Wall Between Hall and Kitchen.
Looking Across the Living Room Toward the Kitchen.
Looking Toward the Far Wall of Living Room With Visual of Couch.
The trash bags against the wall contain only aluminum cans for redemption.  The rest of the trash has vanished.
Standing On Edge of Linoleum Facing the Kitchen Table.
The stuff on the table, all related to eating and drinking, came with me. 
Along the Kitchen Window Wall
Looking Across the Expanse of the Kitchen Towards Counter and Sink.
Including the Rest of the Long Counter Along With the Stove.
Looking Down the Long Wall in Living Room Toward Coat Closet and Hall Closet
The Bathroom Sink, Mirror and Cabinet.
That's all my stuff on the counter.  The cabinet is still all Ed's.
The Toilet.
The Tub
Standing in the Hall Looking Past Foot of Bed to Far Wall
The Bed is Now My Sort and Pack Station.

So if It wasn't my twitchy Sam Nose what accomplished this in under thirty hours?

The answer:  Two of Ed's friends from across the street.  The didn't get started until after my return approximately 24 hours after the first set of photos were taken.  So it actually took them less than three hours.

It happened like this: Because it was Mom's shower day we were unable to leave until after Mom's was settled for her after lunch nap.  It was after three and we had to make a stop at T-Mobile to get a SIM card for my RCA Smartphone.  I purchased a senior citizen plan that gave me unlimited data and ability to use as hotspot for up to six of my Internet capable devices.

By the time we arrived at the apartment Carri was already late getting back to Mom for her next potty break so she schlepped my stuff up the stairs and left it next to the door as I unlocked and then started schlepping it all inside.

She left as soon as I and all my stuff was inside so I could lock the door.  I commenced to work on my plan to create my safe haven in Ed's office.  The plan was to ignore the rest of the apartment until I had my safe place.  I meant to begin by removing all of Ed's things and all of the packing related materials and then set up good lighting before unpacking my electronics and setting up my computer workstation.

I hadn't got far.  In fact I had only cleared Ed's desk before realizing that I needed the lighting figured out before I could proceed.  My lighting plan included stacking empty boxes until the top was over my head and then set a lamp aimed at the ceiling 

I was working on that stack when there were footsteps on the balcony outside the window.  They stopped instead of proceeding to apartments beyond Ed's.  They knocked.  And I heard my name.  I hate answering the door nearly as much as answering the phone.

My first thought was it might be Carri returning for some reason.  But it was definitely a mam's voice. I head for the door deciding the fact they were calling my name meant it was probably safe to open the door on the chain.  Once I did I recognized the face as belonging to a man across the street that would often speak to us as we were coming down the stairs of crossing the parking lot upon our return from somewhere.

He introduced himself as James and his friend as Kevin also from across the street.  They had just been talking to my sister and she'd told them I needed help bringing trash down to the dumpsters. I let them in and showed them the six or seven tied off bags in the kitchen that Carri had created the night before.  While they were bringing the bags down I returned to my project in the office.

When they returned from their last trip to the dumpsters James asked if it was OK if they worked at clearing the big pile of trash and cans in front of the couch.  I said sure and showed him where I'd put the big role of Hefty bags I'd found on top of the pile of stuff on the couch. (Evidence to my mind that something had sparked some motivation in Ed shortly before he died.)

So I stayed out of their way by continuing my safe haven project.  
I had explained the 'rules' Carri and I had been using: Keep all aluminum cans in separate bags and do not take down to dumpster as we plan to redeem them at the dump.  Separate out paper, plastic and glass recyclables and set aside anything that looked like important papers or papers with information about Ed.  That meant going through all the loaded bags as Ed had not kept any of that separate.  And watch out for things that are obviously not garbage like dirty dishes and silverware, clothes, electronics, books, pens and pencils, coins and what have you.

In spite of the restrictions it sill took the two of them only about an hour to process the equivalent of what Carri and I had handled in six--the four hours I did without Carri plus the two with her.  When they called me in to see the three of us stood there in the living room chatting about Ed for twenty or so minutes.

For some reason I spoke of my ordeal the previous evening working alone between five and nine and how I'd had to step out on the balcony at least twice an hour to get some cleansing breaths as the stench from the bathroom was overwhelming.  'We saw.' Kevin said.  'We were keeping an eye on things wondering what was going on.'  ;But, I said I couldn't stay on the balcony for more than a couple minutes before I'd start to cry and would make myself get back to work to put a stop to it.'  'We saw.' Kevin said.

Then James who had been standing nearest the hall in the cross currents of air wrinkled up his face and said, 'We can't leave you here alone with that. It's not safe.'  So with my permission he set to work cleaning the bathroom and Kevin proceeded to do the same in the kitchen.  Except for a stint playing paper towel dispenser for James while sitting on the office chair in the hall, I continued work on my safe haven.

Turns out James had professional experience cleaning up extreme messes.  In his twenties he'd worked for a company that cleaned up after deaths both violent and peaceful and when significant amounts of time had passed before the bodies had been discovered.

Before they left James ran the vacuum cleaner over all the carpet in the apartment wherever there was room to maneuver it.  They had accomplished in under three hours what would have taken me at least three days.

There was plenty more to my evening and night but I must leave off here as I did not sleep last night and my intent to go to be early flew off hours ago.  It's nearly 2am already and my sister is going to bring me a bathmat on her way out of town to take Mom to our brother's in Portland.  That way I get to tell Mom goodbye.  But that goes down in just twelve hours and I could easily sleep that long after being awake more than 24hrs.

Oh, dear.  I just realized that I've severely sabotaged my chances of making the whole 24 hours for the Dewey read-a-thon which starts in 27 hours.

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