Meeting the Vacuum

My cleaning methods are stepwise.  Rooms or sets of rooms are purged of the extraneous.  This has included trashing vestiges of youth, vestiges of family, and, in some cases seemingly, vestiges of others’ sanity.  I recently attacked the chunk of rooms around my father’s bedroom and he decided to clean too.  He filled four or five garbage bags with un-needed clothing and decided to do something he simply may have never done: use the vacuum.

I love our vacuum.  It’s an early model Dyson and is capable of pulling a cats worth of hair out of the carpet.  My brother and I have logged near a hundred hours on it and my dad broke it in ten minutes.  Ten minutes.  10.

Me: How did you break the world’s greatest vacuum cleaner?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: Fix it!

— 12 hours later —

Him: Well, I think I fixed it.
Me: What was wrong?
Him: I somehow sucked up a ballpoint pen.  I thought the Dyson was poorly designed but after the third hour I came to an understanding.  The vacuum was more than the sum of its well constructed parts.  I once thought it was overhyped plastic but I have learned.  I’ve made peace with the vacuum.

Good to know my father’s enough of a man to be able to make peace with an inanimate object.  One day I shall too.