Well, I’ve been working more or less alone for the better part of a month now. The thing about seasonal jobs is that when you are here for the longest amount of time, people leave and then you find yourself seeing less and less people each day around a once-bustling property. Yesterday I didn’t see a living soul until 5 o’clock, and when I did I was startled beyond reason. I’ve been spending my time cleaning empty, cold cabins by delving into the psyches of French Montana and Miley Cyrus via their recent musical releases. Fascinating, really.
Part of my duties as the lone housekeeper around this now-ghost town is waging all-out war against mice. I am the Lord Commander of the Laundry Room and everything beyond the safe threshold of my door is a land infested with those vermin. The other day when I was cleaning a guest cottage I went to pour out some tea that had been left in a teapot, only to be met with the cold, dead eyes of one that had drowned when it was simply looking for a nice spot of tea to warm its mousey heart. I thought to myself ‘My, aren’t there a lot of tea bags in this tea–OH MY GOD.’ Yuckers. Also, the lid was on, meaning it would’ve had to go through an extraordinary amount of effort to scale the porcelain sides and crawl in through the spout. Poor dear.
Whenever I do catch a mouse in a trap I go through an enormous amount of ceremony to give it an epic send-off into the Afterlife. Usually this includes playing the Circle of Life rather loudly, and choreographing a series of movements in order to retrieve the trap, gingerly carry it outside, and then release the body with a sweeping arc of my arm just as the chorus is bellowing majestically into the Nature and the mouse goes flying off, forever free.
Unfortunately, when your movements are so calculated and the presence of dead mice in your mouse trap is so frequent, this can result in a pile of mouse corpses a few feet from your front door, as I later learned.
Because there is no one around to cause me to censor any of my behaviour ever, I’ve taken to prancing around in my down jacket that matches my bright blue spandex pants and yelling rap lyrics as loud as I can manage in every building imaginable. I’ve made every staircase my personal stage, I’ve listened to ‘We Can’t Stop’ and ‘Do What U Want’ more times than I care to admit, and when I’m alone in the laundry room I journey to 20th century England and keep up with my good friends the Crawleys. Downton, captivator of my heart.
Today is my final day of work here, and it is insane to think that eight months have already gone by. I will be returning to the Old Country this winter, back to the land of the ice and snow, and it will be decidedly epic.