The old vacuum cleaner is broken – I have been meaning to replace it for weeks. A new one, ordered on the internet, arrives. I unpack it in the bedroom. I notice the amount of eco-friendly packaging stuffed into the box, spilling out, contributing to the mess on the carpet that already needs cleaning. I notice the weight of the parcel, tape to cut with scissors, the oblong packaging that describes the height of the machine inside. The packing material has moulded itself to the form of the machine. I lift out the vacuum cleaner: plastic; red and grey; wires and tubes and cylinder. It needs a screwdriver to fix the handle to the casing, which I do. I plug it in. The noise is satisfying indication of motor, drive belt, brush. A less satisfying burnt rubber smell begins. I push the vacuum across the bedroom carpet. I feel the weight of the machine and the resistance of the carpet. The motion too and fro speaks of pacing – impatience, frustration, indecision. I manoeuvre around the bed and the piles of clothes, lifting something, pushing something else. A pleasing amount of dust and dander is gathering in the see-through cylinder already. I go round the edges with the small attachment then give the carpet one more ‘push pull.’ Stripes appear on the carpet like the pattern of a mown lawn. I stop and unplug. I coil the power cable in its convenient cleat. I disconnect the cylinder and scoop the grey formless cloud of dirt, hair, skin and fibres into a jam jar. I tip out the last part – some falls back onto the carpet. I screw on the jar lid.