Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Short Cautionary Tale


It was very unusual, perhaps even highly suspicious, that she would leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Submersed in hot water and soapy bubbles, they were a joy to behold.  After a night’s sitting they were gross.  The bubbles were lame, perhaps a thin skim of oil grime ringed the sink or some inedibles floated on the top.   

The only time she would put off this most pleasing of pleasures would be for a half hour or so while she let them soak as she tooth brush scrubbed the bathroom, tub, toilet, sink and all. Yes, unusual was putting it mildly. 

Washing dishes was number one on her list of relaxing past times. Her reasoning; it got the dishes clean, warmed her hands up and offered a sensory cornucopia of enjoyment. She hesitated to include it on  her favorite lists on PhaseBook because someone out their might think she was a loser. While doing the dishes she would occasionally sing “Only losers do their laundry on a Saturday night”, which, in fact, was her favourite night to do laundry. But it would be strange to post that or the dishes doing thing or the fact that she bought dish washing liquid by the case every couple of months or that an evening of good clean fun meant just that, cleaning.

For her weird might be if anyone every found out the number and variety of dish washing implements she had.  Aside from an assortment of old toothbrushes, she had the small mop like thing, the long handled brush, the brush attached to a hollow handle which you loaded with soap, different scrub brushes for different occasions, of course, the obligatory plastic scrubber for Teflon, and the Brillo pads and the steel wool for the really stubborn stuff. It goes without saying that she had a few of those hand knitted dish cloths, regular dish cloths, bar mops and even, for an emergency sink overflow, chamois’. 

She took pride in being a purist, no gloves, just bare hands. And then her after dishes secret, the very sensual application of the vanilla heavy duty multi-purpose hand lotion on her reddened, raisin wrinkled hands. Because, as everybody knows dishes should only be washed in the hottest of waters.  Which brings us to back to the oddness of her not completing the dish washing tasks before the dishes had time to cool down. 

That as it may, she was dismayed, disconcerted and not a little disgruntled to see the dish washing chore had been missed.  For those of you who are not squeamish to reach a bare hand into a sink full of dirty dishes submersed in slimy cold water read on.  If you are squeamish you may want to find something else to do. 

Fair warning.  Onward.

She held her breath immersed her bare hand into that cold cesspool of cleaning gone wrong and searched around for the strainer. (It’s called a plunger/stopper in the bathroom.) She fished around. She moved some dishes. She shuffled some cutlery. And then she screamed. Something grabbed her pinkie finger. 

That was the last something she had ever expected to happen in her kitchen sink. It held on as she thrashed her hand around in the water trying to knock it off on cups, glasses, the cheese grater or a pot lid. There was only one thing to do. She reached in with the other hand, grabbed the thing and her pinkie finger and squeezed.  Her eyes were squinched shut, she couldn’t look, not even a peak. Then she felt a gelatinous substance ooze out over her fingers and a thin stream of bubbles surfaced. A delicate stream of red followed, then subsided, then one last bubble which popped and discharged a mildly foul odor. 

Red lights flashed in her mind’s eye. She imagined a label and it read, in dark bold letters with a skull and cross bone symbol;  Caution; something unusual.

As she pulled her hands out of the water something once alive hung limply between her fingers. It was attached to a stunning tail that shimmered and shone with an iridescence greater then that of the most prized Siamese fighting fish tail. She was astonished to see the fine squished features of something almost humanoid. She could feel a tear squeeze from the corner of her right eye and trickle down her cheek. What a little fighter! Her heart was touched by this limp little form and its brave yet futile attempt to fight for life.  To examine a little closer, she turned over the tail. Without warning, it bit her. With no hesitation, she squished the thing between both hands, tossed it in the toilet and flushed. 

In big, black marker letters she wrote a sign and posted it by the sink, just in case another one of these somethings found its way into a forgotten sink of dirty dishes. 


Caution: no tail left unturned.