February 01, 2004

An Excerpt From...

The Diary of the Housekeeper of Minas Tirith, Tuesday

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

There are one hundred and twenty-five rooms in the palace to be used as accommodations. I clean every single on of them. I know every single one of them, and sometimes I loathe every single one of them.

Between the constant flow of people in and out of the palace, in addition to the royal family, sometimes I feel as if I am stretched far beyond myself. The work is strenuous, but I would gladly serve my king and support the country he governs. Think you that housekeeping is a menial chore for base servants? Then you are one of the people I laugh at, for nobody knows more than I about the secret little things that keep our safe country running smoothly.

But today, ai! Today was promised as an easy day to me, with few coming and going at the beginning of a new week. I had but three rooms to clean where the occupants had stayed one night. These I count as easy, for it is but a simple task to change the bed linen, clean the lavatory, and sweep the floor. At best the job takes twenty minutes...at worst it may take up to an hour and a half. (Dwarves will do that to you.)

Then there is the daunting task of cleaning rooms where the residents have lingered a long time. Oh, the tales I could tell of some! But I digress from this particular point. Of these I also had two. And this is where my frustration begins. In room two hundred forty-three, where the Haradian emissaries had been staying. I had been in there earlier in the week to change the bed linens and tidy the washroom a little, and had been somewhat shocked as to the clutter in the room. Of course, one would think that the emissaries would take all their belongings with them when they left, but apparently not.

There is always a slight moment of apprehension when one opens the door to a vacant room and takes a first look at the damage done. I thought I had entered a battle zone. Nobody had told me Harad had declared war on Gondor. I stepped gingerly over the remains of a cookfire that had been left in the middle of the stone floor, bits of food stuck to the stones. The bed wasn’t in too bad of a shape, but the entire lavatory seemed to be covered in grime a quarter-inch thick. I dared not wonder too hard about the cause.

I began with the bed, as I always do, and the task itself was easy enough. But the further littering and destruction of the room tugged in a most annoying manner at my peripheral vision, and I fell to the pick-up of large trash items such as meat rinds, bits of leather and other unidentifiable objects. The thing that angered me most, however, was the cooking fire. Did they not trust the good fare that the castle kitchens provided? Did they fear poison? Apparently so, and after I had disposed of the charred wood, I fell to scrubbing the gray stones with a fervor that would have stripped the polish off of Anduril. But again I digress, as the tale in all its telling is simply tedious, as was the time I was forced to spend getting the room ship-shape again. Let us simply say that by the time I had finished scouring the cracks in the floor to remove all the desert sand from the room and had battled ferociously with the lavatory grime, the Housekeeper of Minas Tirith was ready for a massage and a mug of mead.

+> Key <+

This entry excerpted from a diary-x entry made this summer.

Posted by Key at February 1, 2004 02:22 PM