drugs side effects



Something has obstructed my writerly gear for a long time.

That’s not to say I haven’t tried pulling something out of nowhere.

Already I fear my writerly gear is stuck again.

WD-40 may do the trick.


I drank some.

Just a squirt to get this lubricated, take away the squeak.

The ambulance is on the way.

Why not keep writing until it arrives?

The interior slats of the bi-fold door that conceals the air handler on the third floor of our home, which we recently moved into, is replete with every specimen of dust and mold.

And so today I have a project, namely, clean the interior and exterior slats, but how?

A vacuum should do the trick.

I carry the cordless vacuum up to the third floor and use a combination of both attachments to try and suck off all the dust and mold.

What I think must be white mold falls silently onto the cherry wood floor.

I vacuum the Florida snow and feel better as the transparent cylinder fills with dust and mold.

But it’s not nearly enough, so much dust and mold clings to the slats, unmoved yet disturbed.

I go downstairs to grab a rag and enzyme cleaner because we have no bleach.

On the way back up, I decide to look into buying a new door all together.

That’s when I discover the name for this particular style of door, namely, bi-fold.

A new one would set me back $136 plus tax.

I watch a video on how to replace the bi-fold door.

Seems easy enough since I don’t have to install any hardware, just take out the dusty and moldy one and replace it with a pristine replica.

I don’t want to go at it with the rag and enzyme cleaner, thinking such brutality would only free the entourage of dust and mold into the air of our home, making my 3-year-old’s sudden onset of runny nose and coughing and sneezing worse.

It all started when we brought that Christmas tree into our home, I think.

Yes, I think, I will buy a new bi-fold door, but before I do that I might as well try to take off this contaminated bi-fold door to see if I will be able to put a new one in its place.

I coil the spring on one side, allowing the door to release from its top railing, then lift up just as the video says to do and the door pops off the bottom guide.

With the 80″ x 36″ bi-fold door in my hands I have what very well could be unfounded hope in getting it clean enough for a second life.


I carry it carefully onto the third-floor balcony, which faces east toward the Atlantic ocean.

Sunlight warms my skin.

Clouds scuttle across the sky.

Everything is blue and white above me, heaven is so clean on clear days.

I take off my shirt, go back downstairs to fetch my sunglasses, then reemerge onto the balcony, where the wind invigorates my entire body, beginning with my nostrils, one of the main doors into my sanctuary.

I find a pail with dirty rainwater, which I carry to the edge of the balcony and toss to the bottom.

A second later the rainwater splashes onto the pebbles and soil.

I see a bright green iguana on the top of a tall palm tree within arm’s reach.

The iguana shuffles from anxiety, stirring the fronds.

I fill the bucket and toss water onto the iguana.

It decides to plummet 40 feet into our neighbor’s garden then sprints off into the thick vegetation.

I squirt some antibacterial soap into the pail, fill it with water, then use a sponge bigger than my hands to begin wiping down the slats.

The sun beats on my back, the wind refreshes.

I get between each slat, pleasantly surprised at the bi-fold door’s return to white.

What must be black mold on the interior side of one of the higher slats and on the side of the bi-fold door washes off with a vigorous scrub.

Elbow grease.

WD-40 oozing down my throat into my small intestine.

I turn on the spigot to the high-pressure hose.

A collated beam of water percusses against the bottom of the bi-fold door then works its way up each slat.

Mist globules cling to my torso hairs.

A bird flies southwest maybe 4 feet above my head.

I carefully turn the bi-fold door over to the exterior side, begin the same process.

Dunk porous sponge in soapy water.

Clean slat.

Clean between slat.

Clean slat.

Clean between slat.

Dunk again.

At my best I’m robotic.

Emotionless, algorithmic, methodical, present.

I trigger the pressurized hose and watch water splatter off the white wood.

Water cascades off the balcony, sliding down the black awning above the master bedroom window on the second floor before smacking the brick pavers in our courtyard.

I sweep residual water off then use a cloth to dry each side of the bi-fold door before leaning it at a 45 degree angle against the railing.

Sunlight beats against whatever mold remains, scorching the spores into nonexistence, sterilizing the bi-fold door back into a new state.

At least this is what my robotic brain tells me.

I stand in the shade looking at ancient sunlight glisten off the clean surface.

Satisfaction feeling.

My diaphragm drops, allowing my stomach to expand into the open air.

Oxygen binds to hemoglobin.

I leave the bi-fold door outside for further sterilization, go inside only to see my sun-warmed footprints condense on the cherry wood floor.

High-arch supinator.

I disappear.

Across the third floor on the west-facing balcony, the bright green iguana scratches at the sliding glass door.

December 30, 2022 2:52 pm

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