“The first indicator that we are dealing with a slovenly human of the highest order: The smell. Festering bits of meat and fruit permeate the whole room with a sickly aroma. This alone violates all standards of basic orderliness and decorum. There are plastic trash bags present, but they are all filled to the brim and spilling their contents, which altogether defeats the purpose of trying to isolate the filth.
Beside the row of lower cupboards we have a mound of sea salt spilling out of its smashed glass container. Bits of salt and glass have scattered over the floor giving the entire surrounding area a gravelly texture. The extent of the spread of the granules and the size of the main salt pile attest to the fact that this shaker was dropped days, even weeks ago. We can only hope that he hasn’t been bending over to grab from this darkening mound of saline when trying to flavor his meals.
You can’t not notice the thin layer of pure grime that envelops the entire viewable surface of floor tile. What once was white is now a sickening shade of gray. It is as if the floor itself was a living thing cut off from oxygen, decaying and going gangrene. There is enough hair scattered about I would not be surprised if this person had some kind of shedding problem or he is housing an unseen dog. A Sees Candy box sits atop a cereal box which rests on an open, greasy pizza box, all of which is surrounded by empty bottles and other assorted trash. Disgusted, I look away.
I receive no respite from the horror. Dishes with extraterrestrial growths are piled askew in the sink. It is a stagnant, rotting swamp of pure stench. A few flies cautiously flutter about, curious if there are chemicals in there that might be of some use to them but wary that to get too close could mean instant death.
To the left of the sink sits the stove. It is presumably mounted on the counter, but all I can say with certainty is that it sits amidst a staggering accumulation of food bits, rinds, oils and congealed fats. Bits of pepper mingle with hardened egg yolk, chicken skin, and potatoes. It looks like the primordial goo that existed when the earth was but a bubbling cauldron of sulfur and ammonia. If struck with the right amount of electricity this area could possibly produce new life forms.
Scanning to the right I see a seldom used dish drying rack with a liberal coat of dust, some filthy plastic cutting boards, blackened banana peels, empty tuna cans, and finally a toaster oven that has seen better days. The knobs are sullied with a black soot, the vents on the side are rusted over, and it opens to reveal an interior thick with grime and hardened cheese.
To the right of this is the refrigerator. The exterior of the refrigerator is refreshingly sanitary. Alas, the respite is short lived. The shelves are teeming with repulsive produce. Opening the drawer reveals carrots that are possibly from the bush administration and circular mounds of thick grey mold that are found to once have been oranges in a previous life. A stick of butter rots away in its original packaging next to a strange amount of empty plastic grocery bags (so lazy he just throws them in the fridge without unpacking?) and a cast iron of barely edible looking ground beef (too lazy to put it in a bowl, just put entire frying pan in fridge??) Thankfully the freezer has nothing decaying, but it is not without the trademarks of a filthy individual. It is rife with discarded pizza wrappings that have become stuck to ice packs and the floor is coated in a sugary slop that appears to have come from a poorly closed bag of frozen fruit.
Directly next to the fridge sits the desk space. It has all the markings of someone who doesn’t mess around when it comes to being a slob. He seems to almost take pride in it. There are half empty containers of BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayonaisse, orange juice and water amidst a hodgepodge of ipods, cameras and cords. The computer, with its streaked screen and oily black keys, is only spared from the savagery because it is propped up on a shoebox, which is itself resting on what looks like one of those metal stands they serve pizza on at restaurants. Papers with numbers, names and doodles are fanned out across the entire surface without the slightest semblance of organization.
A glance under the desk makes known a whole new world of wretchedness. He appears to have sunk so low he doesn’t even have the decency to dispose of his nail clippings. They are scattered about below the desk, intermingling with the rinds of several types of citrus, some stray coins, stained plates, and wood chips that flake off the desk. Closer inspection reveals a few insects of uncertain origin reveling in the chaos of untidiness.
The whole “apartment” has a ceiling that slopes down to a height of roughly 4.5 feet at either edge, giving the entire place the feel that this is a former attic hastily converted into a living space. One corner of the room extends deep into than the rest of the wall, creating a little corridor. This appears to be used as a sort of all purpose dumping ground. All kinds of items, from furniture to boxes to electronics, have been haphazardly placed there without any apparent effort at organization. It is best to simply avoid looking at it.
In front of this pile sits the one table that seems to be kept relatively neat. It holds only a power converter, a blender, a bag of sugar and a gigantic container of coconut oil. A spoon rests atop a tattered paper towel that has far outlived its intended purpose as a barrier between utensil and filth, but I will not let that spoil my appreciation for the one halfway decent area in the place.
The appreciation was painfully short lived, because the next place a search of the apartment takes you is to the bathroom. A small, yellowing sink is mounted to the wall next to the entrance. The streaks of grime are so disgusting I can’t help but try to rub one out with a towel, for the sake of my own sanity. Alas, no amount of scrubbing makes a difference. It is almost as if the sink was manufactured to look like that. I happened to turn on the water at its highest temperature, and was hit with waves of nausea when the water ran brown for a few seconds before reverting to its normal clear complexion. It appears the occupant has simply learned to live with never using the very hottest water and has steeled himself against the possibiltty that he may end up with the teeth of a uninsured hillbilly because he drinks from this rank faucet. Beside the sink there is a small plastic trash can that is missing its lid. It is so overfilled with floss, tissue, paper towel, medicine packaging and all other assortment of debris that I wonder if it has been emptied even once. The odor emanating from the toilet is enough to put to rest any thoughts about investigating the area further, and I hurry out.
The bedroom was all that was left to see, and it more than held its own in terms of being borderline uninhabitable. An off-white mattress sits in the corner, askew on a small wooden bed frame about 4 inches off the ground. All that is on the bed are a plain white comforter and a pillow-case-less pillow. He appears to forgo the normal human custom of using sheets, as they sit in a crumpled pile at the foot of the bed. The dust in the room is so pervasive that simply by walking around it gets kicked up to about knee height. In the corners it clumps up, like someone was hitting little gray golf balls from the center outward. The closet is empty. Literally every single piece of clothing has been strewn about the room. He apparently sheds his clothes before he goes to sleep and only moves them on laundry day, if that concept exists for this person.
On the whole, I am stunned that a human would willingly live under such conditions. It’s not like it is that hard to clean up every once in a while. It is legitimately amazing that someone can be this nonchalant about existing in an environment that might really, actually pose health hazards. God bless him.”