Saluki Marooned author Robert Rickman has had a bout of sickness that has lasted nearly four months: allergic asthma, H1N1, and the stomach flu, which has resulted in emergency room visits, multiple doctors visits, and enough medicine to open a drug store. He's feeling better now, but (as would be expected) things are beginning to slip.
In the novel, things are slipping for Peter Federson too...but for a different reason, because Peter has been ill for a long time: mentally ill...
"I chose to do without making decisions, even small decisions, such as how to clean my trailer, which caused me to be “conflicted,” according to the head shrinkers.
A dust mop had been leaning against the wall in the bedroom for more than a year because, for the life of me, I couldn’t decide where to start the cleaning project. Should I vacuum the carpet first? The carpet was covered with stains, coffee grounds, eggshells, dirt, paper and what looked like dried-out olives. But to get to the rug I’d have to pick up all of the clothes off the floor, and they needed to be washed, didn’t they?
But if I threw them in the car they’d get mixed up with the clean clothes in the back seat. So to get around that, I decided to leave the clothes where they were, and wash them individually in the bathtub as necessary.
And what about the tub? I hadn’t cleaned that since before the water heater had broken that past winter. Maybe washing the clothes there would clean the tub, but that left the filthy sink and toilet. In what order should I clean them? Until I figured that one out, they’d have to stay dirty.
On a positive note, I considered the oven and the stove to such messes that they would be impossible to clean, so I didn’t have to decide which to clean first. And the refrigerator really didn’t need to be cleaned, either, because it had died three years ago, and anything in there was safely out of my sight as long as I didn’t open the door."
But two days later...only two days...Peter Federson's life will change into the epitome of success...success that he won't even remember. What? Does that make sense? It will. Check out the crawling letters below: