Author's Note: This does contain disturbing material unless you do laundry(like me)...then, you're good.
I have my doubts that purgatory exists. If it does, I have some suggestions to put into the box. How about making it full of rooms, each one with its unique drudgery. After all the idea of purgatory should not be a waiting room full of periodicals of heavenly homes, eternal vacation spots, and cruises with Saints of old.
I would start with a room for laundry offenders. Like all those who don’t bother to right side out their socks. It will be filled with mounds of turned out socks with an integrated smell of all the stinky feet ones nostrils have experienced in their lifetime. A ferocious, fungal, foul smell that sticks to the inside of one’s lung fibers like dry oatmeal. They would have to reach into each unique sock and pull out the toe with its dead skin cells falling like snow.
There are those who fail to separate their underwear from their jeans. So I propose a conveyor belt with jeans hung upright just above ones shoulders so they would have to reach over the top to pluck out the defunct unmentionable….oops, I wasn't suppose to mention that.
Now for those who think cleaning out the lint trap is a suggestion, I suggest a spinning wheel waiting to transform mountain upon mountain of lint into thread that is to be loomed into material to make accessories for the innumerable angels coursing the unlimited throws of heaven. Things like scarves, wing covers and tassels for their halos.
For those who let leftovers become a majority there would be a room full of refrigerators on a rotating belt like the one in the arrival terminal at O’Hare. For those who let the crisper become a biosphere. For those who don’t put things back in their place and assume “Monk” will come like a chess player and put all the pieces in their place. The fridges wait to be opened as they skate by. Sleeping Pandora’s ice boxes waiting to be ionized of hazardous material.
Then there’s a room for those who litter. In it you find the highway to heaven with its cold shoulders loaded with debris. McDonalds cups with monopoly stickers still attached, beer can plastic retainers looped over Queen Anne’s Lace, diapers lying like carcasses of spent fuel rods, and an infinite amount of cigarette butts scattered like wildflower seeds. There the offenders stand with their reflective orange vests and baby blue garbage bags with a look of despair.
What would become of those who fail to put their grocery carts back in the corral? There would be a room full of carts and a bazillion isles. Each cart squeals like a pig on death row. Each cart pulls slightly to the left. In each cart there are hundreds of pounds of groceries to be put back on the shelves.
Did I mention the two inches of ice slush on the floor of every isle.
How about those who don’t turn off lights. For them a room with no windows, no decorations, just white walls and ceiling and floor. In the center a cold metal folding chair and a 350 watt parking lot bulb twelve inches above their head so that both light and heat pour down on them like warm water. Next to them a rugged looking frauline asking, drilling one question to the accused over and over…”Did you, or did you not turn off the light?”
On and on the rooms would go with traffic stop nose pickers, with those who share salad bar goodies with everyone, with those who don’t put lids on tight, with those who go through the express lane with more than ten items, with those who stiff the waitress because of the food not tasting right. Jay walkers.
Ham hockers. Lip smackers. Toe tappers. Forget to flushers. Bug crushers. Elevators flatuators. Conversation interrupters. Paper wad throwers…and on and on they go, rooms with thumb twiddling possibilities. Simply thinking about this could be a purgatory in itself.