The dogs are on the porch as I drag the vacuum cleaner out to a very dirty car. They bark at a passing neighbour and her dog. I shush them and go back inside to grab a pail of soapy water. It’s going to take more than one bucket to clean Harriet the Hyundai.
Once the soaping is done the vacuum comes to life and starts the arduous task of cleaning where the bucket left off. Occasionally I stop to shush the dogs as another neighbour walks by with a dog. I threaten to put them in the house. I would count to three if I thought that would work. If I’m honest nothing works. I only shush them so people think I’m putting in some effort to control my dogs.
I turn back to Harriet and the vacuum cleaner. I listen to the hiss and roar, whine and groan of the vacuum as it toils to suck up crumbs of dirt and errant strands of dog hair. It feels good to start this long overdue chore.
When I’m done I sit on the porch sipping a glass of orange juice with ice. The day has barely begun and yet, so many sibilant sounds.