There was a time when I believed that a bearded animal-hoarder gathered doubles of all his woodland buddies, and survived 40 days and 40 nights on a boat. I also chose to believe that it was bible-thumping, not meteors, which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Over the years, I've put away most of these crazy ideas, and tend to be more skeptical with my beliefs. And folks, as a logical, semi-intelligent adult, there is one mythical falsehood in which I refuse to believe.
Save the fairy tales, Good Housekeeping. There is NO SUCH FUCKING THING as an empty sink.
It doesn't matter how hard I try. If the sink is empty, there's absolutely no chance of me not finding a dish somewhere else in my apartment. "Look for dishes before you begin, silly britches!" you may say. But no. It doesn't matter. I look for dishes in other rooms before I begin, and one manifests itself inside my pillow case or some shit, as a final insult with which to end my day.
And of course, I'm not going to do that one asshole dish when I'm sleepy. So into the sink it goes.
Putting one dish inside an otherwise clean sink seems to have magical powers all of its own. It's like feeding Gremlins after midnight or something. One becomes a dozen, in the blink of an eye, and I have no idea how it happens.
That's the point at which my life begins spiraling out of control.
To me, a sink full of dirty dishes makes my kitchen look less like a kitchen...
...and more like a terrifying, dark, filthy forest of forgotten dreams.
|Ha! Where'd my apartment go??|
I don't know what it is about the kitchen that makes me feel like Atreyu in the Swamp of goddamn Sorrows. I can handle any other chore or adult-type obligation with a respectable amount of dignity and responsibility... but not the kitchen. Never the kitchen. It absolutely consumes me. Sometimes, I'll just sit there for hours. Sulking. Waiting. As if things will improve on their own or something.
I have so many methods for avoiding the dishes, for such extended lengths of time, that it's downright shameful. I throw towels over them. I buy paper plates. I order out. I skip food altogether. I buy tupperware more often than I actually have something to put inside the tupperware. How does that even happen??
My favorite method is a bit silly. I mean... I know that ultimately nothing gets accomplished by this action. But I do it over, and over, and over again.
When I walk by a particularly full sink of dishes, I tend to just... sort of... stand there. I turn the water up full blast, and spray it with the hose for a bit. I go into a trance, a state of expressionlessness upon my face and a sense of undeserved entitlement in my heart. Now that I think of it, I guess it could be called Kristin Stewart mode.
The water splashes all over the place, but I don't care. I continue standing there, spraying away, sinking slowly into lower depths of apathy and dish despair that I didn't even know existed. I think the fact that tiny particles of food do indeed wash away sometimes tricks my inner child into thinking I'm actually being productive.
After a little bit, I always come back as well, to marvel at all the progress I haven't made.
Since none of this ever helps my predicament, and since doing the dishes is certainly not an option (because fuck that shit,) I usually wander around my apartment for a couple weeks and let everything else go to shit, too. The rest of my apartment gets jealous of the filth that is my kitchen, and who am I to play favorites? Filth for everyone! FILTH FOR EVERYONE!
When you wallow around in filth for a few days, It's almost liberating in the worst way imaginable. I just stop caring about everything for a few days. Done with that string cheese, hmm? Got a wrapper? Throw that shit on the ground! Left over pizza? Refrigerators are for fucking quitters! Leave the left-overs on the coffee table so breakfast is waiting in the morning. Clothes everywhere? Roll around in them! Swim in your failures! BECOME YOUR FAILURES!
Of course, all "good" things come to an end. Eventually, I get so disgusted with myself that I go into a day-long, O.C.D. cleaning frenzy, trying to get my apartment and my life back in order.
And guess which fucking chore I save for last.
The gusto I feel while preparing for battle, I imagine, must be akin to the righteous, victorious fire that burned within the soul of Albert Pierrepoint as he was hanging Nazis after World War two. (Did I just blow your mind with that shit? Look at that fucking knowledge I just dropped on you. You're welcome.) I roll up my sleeves, break out a brand new sponge, and go to town on those bad boys, grabbing plate after plate, cup after cup, pot after pan, in disbelief of the magic occurring before my very eyes.
But upon lifting the final couple plates from the load of loathsomeness, my heart sinks. Just as I think I've finished... the real battle has only just begun.
Every piece of silverware I've acquired since 2004 lay waiting, watching, 'til the very end, when I am weakened from my journey, and at my most vulnerable. I just spent tens of minutes conquering my dishware demons, only to be met with this abomination. Overwhelmed with the unfairness of it all, I take another staring break, feeling as if I'm right back where I started.
But eventually something in me snaps. The clouds begin to part...
...And the path ahead becomes all too clear.
And that's how I (sort of) do the dishes.
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(Or be mah Twitter pal! @meteroflgy )
(Or be mah Twitter pal! @meteroflgy )