This is what I was born to do. I feel it. It's my passion. It's the greatest thing in the world to me. It's my religion, and I'm the God.
Janitoring flows through my veins like dirty mop water.
My father was a janitor, y'see. And his father before him, too. It's the great family tradition, passed down from Man to Man. And I must carry it on. I want to carry it on.
I've always known I was destined to be a janitor. My parents say when I was born, I immediately washed off my umbilical cord. I don't really remember my birth, I was pretty drunk.
My dad even janitored in a prison for 3 to 5 years. Who would go to prison willingly?! After majoring in Janitorial Arts, or Janitoreering, in college (Harvard), I decided I wasn't just gonna get my masters in the fine art of janitoring, I was gonna get my doctorate in it. And I did. And the job offers started flowing in before I could even climax whilst having sex with my really attractive and gorgeous girlfriend.
I picked a middle school in Nantucket and now I'm making ABOVE minimum wage! (Minimum wage is three dollars, right?) Not to mention all the pussy (I'm not going to mention it and neither should you).
When my father was dying of janitor-related injuries, lying in a pool of his own blood and the urine he was cleaning up, he said to me, "Avenge my death and be the best janitor ever to have lived." I said, "That's impossible, Dad…you're the best janitor to have ever lived." Just kidding, he died before I said, "What's avenge mean?" So he never defined it for me, and we have dial-up at home so needless to say I still don't know what avenge means. Ya win some, ya lose some, right?
I'd like to be able to say my dad died a peaceful death on that high school cafeteria floor, but the truth is he was spitting up blood every time he talked, and his stomach had a huge bloody hole in it, his guts showing and blood spilling out onto the floor, washing the floor like he had so many times previous.
My father was no ordinary janitor. He went to Yale on a full-ride janitor scholarship, was president of the Janitor Club there, won "Janitor of the Year" every year he was alive, and in his greatest janitorial achievement won the esteemed Nobel Janitor Prize. He wrote numerous best-selling books on the subject. One was even going to be in Oprah's Book Club, but he turned that bitch down. His textbook was second only in sales worldwide to the Bible (and we all know what happened to Jesus).
My father got numerous promotions throughout his life. He started out as an intern janitor, scrubbing floors and cleaning up shit for free on a volunteer basis out of the goodness of his heart.
Then he was promoted to Assistant Janitor. He still wasn't paid but he did get to clean up feces, vomit, and piss on a 9 to 5 schedule (9pm to 5am). Then he was promoted to Co-Janitor. He was paid when he did an "above-extraordinary" job, which nobody ever did on a consistent basis, not even my dad-the best janitor around-so for a while there in my childhood he had to feed me and my mother (rest in Hell) pre-chewed gum, Tic-Tacs, and partially-eaten McDonald's cheeseburgers he found at work in the "food bin." He did this often in our childhood to save money even after he was promoted again to Just Plain Janitor.
One day he came home from work as pissed as the day I was born and said from then on he would be doing freelance janitor work only. We often slept in various middle schools, elementary schools, and movie theaters during this period. We would wake up to loud shouting from the owner, telling my dad that they already have a janitor, but my dad would assure us that was how he and the boss joked around. I didn't hear the boss laughing, but then again my dad has a very dry sense of humor.
Sometimes we would sleep in a cardboard box and pretend it was a submarine. One day my mother threw my baby brother in a dumpster and said he was going to "live with his garbage relatives." Later that night I saw a stray cat maul him to death. My mom said I was just "tripping balls."
Sometimes my dad would eat mushrooms from the ground, telling us nature is our friend and we must feed from its gracious offerings. He would then leave for hours and return the next morning with a full-grown beard and Vietnam flashbacks, even though he never served in Vietnam (unless it was as a janitor). My father served in the Cold War in Colombia for three years in the 80's and came back really shook up.
He sure was a quirky character! Sometimes I would wake up in the cardboard box to the sounds of him pissing on my mom on the other side of the cardboard box (we lived in the mansion of cardboard boxes, let me tell ya), yelling something about the "nectar of the Gods, drink it and you will become a woman like the surgery made you." Then he would look over and see that I was awake and turn off the video camera. I would close my eyes and pretend to be asleep, but I'm sure the shaking gave me away. Plus, it's probably hard to believe I would still be sleeping after he started peeing on me. He wouldn't say anything to me, but he would look over at my mom and say "watch and learn" or "practice makes perfect." Shortly thereafter, my mom left him for another janitor.
My dad even janitored in a prison for 3 to 5 years. What a good guy! I mean who would go to prison willingly?! I sure wouldn't, that's for sure.
Every time he saw a young child, my dad's eyes would light up and he would start walking after the child with a hunched back, closing and opening his hands repeatedly, shouting "CANDY! CA-AH-ANDY!"
These experiences all shaped the person I am today. I hope to carry out my father's legacy. I hope to raise my kids in the nicest of cardboard boxes. I hope to feed my kids stale yet delicious McDonald's French fries that I find.
I hope my father is looking down at me from Hell, but not looking down ON me. I hope he's smiling his toothless smile, pipe in his mouth, hand down his pants like always.
If not, I have more work to do; specifically, someone shit in a urinal and I have to clean it up. So I throw on my headband, sweatpants, sleeveless t-shirt, and headphones blaring classic rock, and try and make my father proud, every day.