After some searching, I found a couple decent shelves, a coffee table, and a couch in surprisingly fine condition, all for less than two hundred bucks. I loaded the furniture into my hatchback and drove it home.
A few days later I noticed a strange smell around my apartment, and try as I might I couldn't locate the source. Since my mind always cooks up the most insane and horrifying explanation possible, I naturally assumed the worst: there was something dead inside the couch I'd purchased. Why else would it have been so cheap? Clearly someone had murdered a hooker, stuffed her inside their couch, then hastily sold it to the nearest consignment store.
Enamored with the idea that something was rotting inside my couch, I set about trying to eradicate it. Removing the cushions revealed nothing, so I flipped the couch over and inspected the bottom. Nothing. But I wasn't fooled. Something was in there, and I was going to figure out what. I grabbed a steak knife and sliced open the fabric.
Still nothing. Frustrated, I duct taped the gash, turned the couch right side up, and peered around my apartment curiously. Wherever the smell was emanating from, it was eluding me. Defeated, I did the only thing I could think of. I took a nap.
Later, at dinnertime, I realized I had no clean dishes to eat off, and begrudgingly accepted the fact that I'd have to wash some. That's when I discovered the source of the smell. It was coming from the sink. Particularly, a tea pot with rotting tea leaves inside of it. I suddenly recalled having made tea a week prior, then promptly forgetting to empty out the pot. The stench was aggressive.
Gagging, I emptied its contents, tied up the garbage, and hastily lugged it downstairs to the dumpster.
While riding the elevator back to my floor, I realized something: I'm disgusting. Not outright disgusting, but sort of secretly disgusting. By all accounts I'm exceptionally well put together––at times even fussy. But I had to face facts. I was gross.
I began to ponder this fact, recognizing that most of my adult accomplishments, especially my day-to-day conquests, were entirely reactionary. For instance, I only cleaned the apartment every week as a result of watching new Hoarders episodes and not being able to handle the nutjobs onscreen being consumed by junk.
About halfway through each episode, I'd begin to feel uncontrollably itchy, pause the TV, and clean everything. And it would never be enough. My entire apartment might be spotless, but I'd still feel like I was living in squalor.
At this point, I've come to grips with the fact that the teapot fiasco is simply the most recent example of Bacheloritis, a tragic disease I now understand I'm hopelessly stricken with. What's worse is I don't believe Bacheloritis is curable. A romantic partner may quiet the symptoms, but those of us plagued with the condition are doomed for life.
Bacheloritis manifests primarily during domestic scenarios. It's why I can't seem to do the dishes, ever. I'm fully aware that there are children in the world who don't have enough food to eat, let alone dishes to eat their nonexistent food off of, but it somehow doesn't seem to matter. When the time comes to wash a dish, it feels like a personal assault againt my freedoms. I look at my bottle of lemon scented Dawn and I'm tempted to call Amnesty International.
Call it laziness if you will, but I think it goes deeper. It's cellular. It can't be simple apathy when to take out the trash would be a simpler option than the alternative, which is to carefully balance trash into a veritable garbage tower.
It's like a game of Jenga, only instead of wood blocks, I'm playing with Starbucks cups and leftover Pad Thai, and instead of winning, everybody loses.
By far the worst symptoms of Bacheloritis are laundry related, because at that point you're bringing your disease out into the world and parading it in front of everyone. It can be tricky, since most dudes can manage to keep the disease in check as far as their clothes are concerned. A quick sniff test and we're good to go. In fact, I don't know a man alive who has ever washed a pair of jeans. The dirtier they get, the better. It's to be expected. It's a free pass.
But we grow lax, and that's when problems arise. I once wore a pair of ancient 501's for an entire afternoon without realizing a whole pepperoni had been stuck to them.
I felt like committing seppuku when I took them off that night and noticed it. By that point honorable suicide is the only acceptable option.
My own personal case of Bacheloritis reached its zenith last year, though I'd yet to come to terms with my illness and realize I needed help. I innocently purchased a copy of Fallout 3, naively unaware that videogames are the American Bachelor's drug of choice. For the next 4 days I lost myself completely. I neglected my own bodily needs in favor of searching the wastelands for more useless junk and better weapons with which to obliterate Super Mutants. Hours turned into days, days melted into nights, and I began to lose track of time altogether.
When I finally beat the game and emerged from my cocoon of putrescence, I was hardly recognizable, leery of the harsh and unfamiliar sunlight, confused as a newborn child.
It's a constant battle, fighting to keep Bacheloritis from taking over my life altogether. Perhaps it's a war that can never truly be won. I fear it's ingrained into my bone marrow, but I won't give up, lest I be consumed by it. It might be easier if there was more awareness of the disease, and if people (ahem, ladies) realized that we just can't help it. We're sick. We didn't forget to take out the trash, we didn't see it. It's like color blindness. You wouldn't yell at your boyfriend for being color blind, right? It's the same when a guy walks by the trash piled at the door.
My name is Adam, and I have a disease. A diseeeeease. Take pity on me. And if you're heading to the grocery store, can you take the garbage out on your way? Because I'm sure as hell not gonna do it.
Wait. I mean... what garbage? I don't see any garbage.