Breaking The Mold

by Robert Adcox

Last night I noticed a smell coming from my bedroom closet. This wasn’t some “oh, really, Adcox?” kind of smell which some of you might be imagining but rather a Black-Plague-of-Death-So-Call-The-CDC kind of smell. This odor, at first faint for about a week, eventually became overwhelming – and it wasn’t some field mouse that had wandered in and gotten lost in the maze of car magazines, old homework, screwdrivers, plastic crates and sweat pants.

This, my friends, was far more sinister. It was the smell of mold.

I stepped into the closet to investigate.

Now, cranking up one’s stress levels after taking a long, soothing shower is unpleasant enough, but stepping into one’s closet and being met with “squish” under your left foot compels one to throw one’s copy of “Politically Correct Bedtime Reading” across the room in anguish and disgust. I pressed forward, however, and did what must be done.

In my case, that meant a trip to WalMart for a caulking gun and a cheap, disposable towel with which to begin drying the carpet. Disgusting, black deposits of mold had formed, leaving me to Rambo my way through the mess with a bottle of bleach and water. Dividing and conquering my way to the November 1986 copy of “Architectural Digest” (now soaked and covered with something commonly found in a Petri dish), I worked my way back to the doorway of the closet.

This, proved to be extremely touch-and-go as the cable TV wire had long since wrapped itself in a death-grip around an old vanity light I’ve been attempting to recondition. In turn, the light had also somehow attracted an ac adapter I’ve had since Reagan’s second term. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know either.

This makeshift recreation of an octopus battling a squid was the final obstacle separating me from freedom and disentangling the moldy cords drew out my mission like a Donald Trump speech. Finally, after sopping up the last of the moldy water, I discarded the “new” towel into a nearby dumpster.

Perhaps the most joyous part of the evening was caulking around the tub in an heroic attempt to keep the shower from leaking into the wall. I have nightmares of mold, turning a nitrogen-rich black and snaking its way up, commando-style, into the apartments above and next to mine. The silent stalker, seeping its way into rooms inhabited by waitresses, students, and really good gin players is more than this semi-old man can endure.

Excuse me. As maudlin as that sounds, I believe I have actually staved off any and all mold (excluding the contents of my refrigerator) and I am now exhausted – nay drained – from my battle with acres of trespassing flora, but I’ll live in spite of millions of hostile spores.

Sure is a breath of fresh air.

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