I’ll not name names, I’m not a monster, but there was someone, when I was a kid, who couldn’t find a tea towel for love nor money.
Whether cleaning his hands of washing dishes, he would flick the water from his fingertips, all over the floor – thus ensuring a pair of soaked socks for me and a frightening slide across the Lino first thing in the morning. To give him his due, it was almost as good as coffee.
When I was younger, I never noticed it, but as I got older, I couldn’t not. The draining board would be covered in freshly-washed plates and teacups, knives, forks and whatnot. But the sink – was like something from a horror movie.
A film of white-ish grease would sit, caked along the edge of the sink. It would have congealed somewhere between breakfast bacon and his reversing out of the driveway.
A saucepan, filled with tepid water, would sit – with the porridge skin swaying – as the water rippled with my disgust.
All manner of gravy-encrusted plates, tea-stained mugs and satsuma skins, sat on the bedside table in the spare room.
Now, it wasn’t that he’d left the washing up for me (and presumably, for my Dad many years before), he was a guest, after all. The problem was how clean everything on the draining board was. Walking into my puddly kitchen, I could see the glistening china on the draining board and would experience the most profound feeling of calm. The washing up was done. He had learned.
And with each and every step, I saw more and more of the grimy contents of the sink and my chest tightened.
There is something truly delightful about a clean sink. Just an empty, possibly lemon-scented, sink. I have a deep appreciation for these things.