Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Life Cycle of a Mexican Broom

The broom starts its useful life as part of a colorful bunch of brooms in a small tienda somewhere here. They are usually placed upside-down in a bucket or some kind of a bouquet of brooms. Pink, blue, purple, yellow, orange, red. Fat ones, skinny ones, fine ones, wiry ones.

I inspect the bouquet, and take the prettiest one that looks the softest. The bristles feel right; this one looks like it might really contain the dog hair and dust. I have high hopes that THIS broom will be mine, all mine.

I bring it home, and place it in the laundry room, upside down, in my little corner. And I use it every day, and am pleased that it lives up to my expectations. Nobody else touches my broom while I'm here. But alas, I am not always here. When I leave, I place my broom in my corner, and put another broom out in plain view. "Take that one, if you must", I silently plead.

Sometimes I'm away longer than other times. The house has always been cleaned before I arrive back home, and there may also have been a small repair going on. And my broom has taken part in some sort of activity - I know this because the bristles are now all clumped in groups, and some are sticking out. My broom will no longer glide across the tiled floor and control the dust and hair, it will just push it around until a breeze blows it out of reach.

I donate the broom to the rest of the house, where it will start to lead an interesting life. It will be used to: dip into a soapy bucket and scrub the patio tiles, scrub the mats, wash down the cement stairway, clean out the pool, sweep leaves, wash the screens and windows, spread grout, and make decorations on cement sidewalks. Eventually it will be taken apart, and the wooden handle will be recycled as a handle for something else, or a paint stirrer, and the bristles will probably go in the trash, but not before sitting beside the trash can for a few weeks, just in case there is still life left there.

I head out to buy a new broom. One that will be mine, all mine.


IslaZina said...

And right now I have to go back to the roof to get my pink fluffy broom. It is the newest, but got put into rooftop cleaning. And the one in the kitchen is already a mat of strand sticking every which way. And the new dog chews have pulverized. So I feel your pain!

Islaholic Trixie said...

Welcome to the blogging world Sue. Keep up the good work.

Sue said...

Zina - I knew you might be able to relate. I need to increase my broom budget!

Brenda - thanks for the kind comments!

Islagringo said...

What a beautiful story! Something as mundane and ordinary as a broom you have turned into a tale of love. Thank you.