Saturday afternoon: One man’s journey to a higher, cleaner plane of existence

Isabella Ko/Staff

Related Posts

It was a Saturday morning. Well, Saturday afternoon at that point. 

Friday night was a blur. All I could remember was the GigCar, Target, flashing lights and shouting as my Super Smash character got knocked off the stage.

But none of that mattered when I woke up. All that mattered was the looming weekend. With three math assignments, 20 pages of sociology reading and a chemistry prelab to fill out, squandering time would be signing a death wish. I had to seize the weekend and make the most out of what remained.

Saturday morning suddenly passed by. A crucial moment of my weekend was missing, and I was left with no plan or motivation to get anything done. My to-do list lay barren like Memorial Glade after midnight. This would have been okay, but the lack of motivation made the situation exponentially more dire. I needed something to wake me up and activate my brain. I needed a savior.

As I got up off my bed, my eyes scanned the room. Full trash cans. Pieces of paper and Cheetos dust on the floor. Water bottle stains on my desk. Collected dust on the top of the microwave. It made the post-apocalyptic world from Wall-E look like the Island of Motunui on a sunny Spring day. 

That’s when the lightbulb went off in my head: cleaning day. What other way could I not only be productive, but also complete a daunting task and gain my roommates’ respect all at the same time?

With a hop in my step, I bounded down the stairs and made haste to the front office. “I’d like to rent out a vacuum please,” I kindly told the lady running the front office. My heart is prepared for her to go to the back, pull out that magnificent vacuum and open the gate to pass it to me in all its glory. But my mind is preparing for the response nobody wants to hear: “I’m sorry, but it seems like they’re all rented for now.”

Thankfully, the stars aligned and decided to give me a shot to redeem my weekend, because five minutes later, I was waiting for the elevator, humming to a tune in my head, vacuum in hand. As I got into the elevator, I could see the faces peering at my vacuum. I knew they all wanted it. But this was survival of the littest. And I was the most lit in that elevator.

Rolling the vacuum to my room, all I could imagine was the room sparkling from how clean it would be in the next few hours. But first things first. Vacuuming first is a rookie mistake. Obviously, I had to bust out the Clorox wipes.

My first victim would be my desk. With three swishes, four swoops and a loop de loop, I eradicated 99.9% of all the bacteria on the surface. Next up, the microwave and fridge would be cleaned. This only took me two swishes and two swoops, but I had to throw in two loop de loops to ensure maximum cleanliness. I couldn’t stop there. I was on a cleaning-high. Within a span of 3 minutes, I cleaned my roommates’ desks as well. 

But even then, I couldn’t start vacuuming. Next, the trash had to be kicked out of the room. With a heave, I lifted up the medium-sized white trash can from Target and lugged it downstairs, tossing it over into the big green trash bin, imagining myself as Liam Neeson and the trash can as a cronie who just got beat up.

With the trash out of the way, I could finally plug in the vacuum and turn on that beautiful beast. To most, the whine of a vacuum cleaner is obnoxious and disturbing. To me, though, it is the sound of productivity and personal success in action. I embrace the sound, using it as motivation to be better than before. And then there are the motions. A simple back and forth with the hands. Such a simple movement. And yet, so much work being done at one time. It truly is a miracle of modern engineering.

Vacuuming is an art in and of itself. Without a pattern, purpose or conveying emotion, one cannot truly vacuum. Individually, these three enhance the vacuuming process, but taken in sum, they turn vacuuming into an epiphany of everything that’s good in the world. 

Caught up in this daze, I finished vacuuming the entire floor before I even knew what had happened. Such is the beauty of vacuuming and cleaning. What started off as a day that seemed to be lost in the rapid flow of time turned into one with hyperefficient task-completion, startling amounts of motivation and the potential to lead the way into not just a good weekend, but a great week.

Contact Hamzah Alam at [email protected].