Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lora blogged about the bugs that come out of the woodworks post-exterminator. You can imagine how horrifying it is. Spindly, scary numbers of feelers and legs and hairiness that lived in your floorboards and under your tile that you never knew was there. Suddenly dead out where you can see them. Most of them were not meant to be seen by the light of day. I remember a girl telling me in 5th grade all about the bugs (see also, microorganisms,) that live under your nails and in your eyepits and all over your body. That there are literally thousands on every surface you can think of, you just need a strong enough microscope. I remember spending lots of time when I was supposed to be listening digging under my fingernails and thinking about it.

We have this desire to think we are alone. That we, as a species, are exclusive. The only ones allowed to live in our house. The only organism. Lots of people don't even believe themselves to be animals. We forget that since we have all these bald skin patches instead of fur, we're subject to living in the same critter-infested food web as the microbiota on our skin or in our guts. Some of them help us out, some of them just exist. But we'd rather not think about them.

We don't want to think about the drug addicts or the whores we live in the midst of. We move out to the burbs where there are no rats or drugs. Yeah right? They live in the woodwork too. Sneaking around dropping their kids off just like everyone else. Sometimes they slip. My dad's friend did. So did mine. My dad has been visiting one of his closest friends in the hospital lately where he's spent some time strapped down detoxing from heroin. My dad's the hoity toity type. Operas and nice restaurants. He's a loyal friend too. I'm less so. I dismissed my friend. She stole from us. And has tried for 15 years to contact me about it. Heroin's involved in her life story too. But I keep her under the floor boards. Especially until I exterminated the Social Services out of my life recently. Now old things are floating to the top of my mind.

I've been thinking about all kinds of things we don't usually think about. Like what happens to our piss and shit after we flush the toilet. I know when you throw a diaper away, it sits in a landfill mostly NOT decomposing for a few hundred years. I know it slowly leeches chlorine and that its basically a packaged biohazard sitting there waiting for flies to carry its disease around.

I've been looking into starting a cloth diapering business, see? So I've learning all the ins and outs of peeing and pooping and composting and whatnot. They make compostable diapers now. Did you know? Probably not, and you probably didn't want to. Because who the fuck composts their own diapers? How do you safely do that?

I don't want to. But I want to stop seeing so many people put gift-wrapped biohazards into landfills for future apocalypsing. So I'm trying to figure it all out.

Composts don't want to touch human waste. Except our landfill has a fantastic composting program. They want to. But its an expensive venture. Thing is, they're kind of already doing it. They accept all the piss and shit already from the sewer district. The guck they pull out after you're through with your flush, it can be composted. In my community it is composted. But they treat the shit out of it first.

Its weird though when you think about it. How afraid we all are. How squeamish. I'm cool with digging a trench and pooping into it. Or using an outhouse. I don't want to see ground water contaminated or anything. And I don't want to see the bugs that crawl out from places. But there's a reality in that grime, piss, and shit. That our stuff exists. We poop. We eat from soil that's had poop in it at some time or another. We share our environment with bacteria and fungal flora and hair and knee caps have it too. That's just how it is.

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