Lint Rolling the Stairs 

There is a perfectly functional vacuum cleaner on every floor of this hostel, but the owner prefers his workawayers to lint roll the carpeted stairs. There are four floors, so I’ve spent a good amount of time today hunched over, lint rolling stairs. 

Doing this makes me think of details. When guests walk these stairs do they notice the cleanliness? If they do, do they then wonder how the stairs became so clean? Would they, in their wildest imaginings, have guessed that the cleanliness was owed to a lint roller of all things? The lint roller, perhaps the seemingly most impractical tool for cleaning stairs, does in fact do a good job of getting a stair case clean. The only drawback is that it takes time and patience. 

Luckily I have both. I wonder, as I roll up hairs and bits of rice, where I learned the skill of patience, or of it truly as Plato supposes, that my immortal soul has always known patience, and lint rolling the staircase has allowed me to “remember” patience, so to speak. I get caught up in these thoughts, and before I know it I’m done, and someone is handing me a brush and telling me to go scrub the toilets on the third floor. 

5 comments

  1. Jennifer H Anthony-Bogue says:

    I could’ve told you that a lint roller does a good job on carpeted stairs. Especially if you have hairy pets. But I agree that a mindless task like this allows your mind to go wherever it wants. We should all lint roll our stairs once in a while.

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  2. Lizzie says:

    Is this the type of roller where you have to pull off a sheet of sticky paper to get a new sticky surface? If so I would think there would be a big wad of hairy rice paper when you were done. I’m thinking you have some neater roller. Maybe made in Japan?

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  3. Advisory says:

    Hi Elliott. Stay safe!

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  4. Aunt Susie says:

    Hi, Elliott! I so enjoy reading your blog! Hard for me to believe how far away you are. Cleaning toilets and stairs. What a life. Enjoy all the adventures ahead of you. We all miss you, and your writings help us get a glimpse of your every-day existence. (I would have said ‘life’ but ‘existence’ sounded so much more “you”)

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