I’m passionate about being a janitor: I can clean the shit out of a toilet.
I’m serious. I’ve taken my job to heart. I mean, I’m still a multimedia-producing- high school educator- Documentarian of OG‘s/ cool dude…And at the same time-
I’m a master of the custodial arts.
My job entails cleaning the common areas of a three floor (with plans to open more floors) recently renovated apartment building in downtown Oakland. What is unsaid: my job entails focus, patience, and consistency on my part. I’ve been doing this job since the first week of July. The past 5 months have been a slow building process, in all aspects of life; and this craft has eased the growth.
The beauty of being a janitor is this: it’s a craft. A craft that I can do and help people when I do it. The thought of having people dependent upon me has always caused me to grow stronger. So, now people are depending on me to wake up every morning and clean some shit up. And it’s great. I have to push myself to roll out of bed on cold mornings or on the opposite end of a wild night, lace my boots, toss on some gloves, and get active.
That’s what life is about. Growth. Everyday. Everyday I wake-up, I have a job. A couple of jobs. Matter of fact, I have two careers, freelance gigs, one class short of getting my degree and still… I clean. Everyday. No matter Sunday or Holiday. People take shits and people make trash. As a matter of fact, I like to clean on Sundays- they say cleanliness is next to godliness. and I believe it. There is no better feeling than waking up Sunday morning. Jogging. Cleaning. Writing. Reading. And being on top of my shit….
… The beauty of cleaning up shit? In return for my labor, I receive a lil janitor’s closet. A place where I can pray and no one can disturb me. A fun-sized studio apartment comes in the deal- I guess cleaning up the public areas of a renovated apartment building isn’t that bad. Not too shabby at all if I do say so myself.
The downside? Mannnnnnnn…. Seeing people wake up 6:30Am and run toward the shared bathroom (where I’m cleaning) in their undergarments- never a pleasing sight. But that’s artwork in comparison to the sight of mice and used tampons… I have grown an fierce distain for both mice and used tampons. As a matter of fact, I don’t like mice, rats, raccoons, nutrias, not even small dogs… and I don’t like used tampons… or used pads, for that matter.
Dealing with human waste is humbling.
This is what plenty of people do everyday to feed their families
…This is what my mother did in order to put me through school…
And to think- I used to be ashamed of our car smelling like bleach. Or the fact that I could hear her coming in elementary school- the cue was the jingling of her keys. Plus my aunt and sister both had bouts with the craft. Now, I see
the trade runs in the family.
…this train of thoughts makes me think of two quotes and one song…
“I’m a master of the custodial arts… a janitor if you want to be a dick about it.”- Thurgood. (Dave Chappelle’s character int he movie: “Half Baked”).
“Oh… she told me that she likes the finer things- and I can’t afford a “high maintenance woman like her”…
I told her…
I’m a weed smoking janitor… I’m high maintenance too!”- anonymous comedian.
Big K.R.I.T. : “Dreamin”