I’m sorry both sides of my sink are full this morning. It’s not a big sink. Really, it’s quite shallow, so I don’t know how I’m expected to keep up with doing the dishes when there isn’t even enough space on one side for more than five plates, three bowls, an egg poacher, three measuring cups, and a dozen knives. I mean, I even have to balance the colander on top, and I’m sure the cat is going to knock it over when she jumps up to find the bits of chicken she thinks are still left in the baking dish. But I guess this isn’t really an excuse. Nor does it really explain why several pots and pans with the residue of cauliflower and salmon glued to their once shiny stainless steel insides are teetering on top of the stove. It’s getting harder to get work done at the kitchen table with the mixer just sitting there crusting over with cookie dough, and next to that, the panini press waiting to be scraped of cheese.
I know you’re probably disgusted. But who does their dishes every day? Maybe people who have dishwashers, and we all know that doesn’t build character.
And the truth is that I’m not hungry anymore, so I don’t need to clean any dishes because I’m never going to use them again. I’ve given up eating. I’m doing it for health reasons. My tongue will be delighted to be spared contact with things hot and cold, mushy and chunky, smooth and liquid. It’s free now. It’s in shape. It’s not even dry.
There might be a smell, but it isn’t even noticeable until you’re really in there, a couple feet from the spout. The rest of the apartment doesn’t smell like that smell, it’s a different smell. It’s not the dishes, the two-week-old decaying yogurt in that bottom-most cereal bowl, or the spinach of that salad I never finished, drying out in the vinegar. It’s nothing. It’s just the way the place smells. It’s probably my neighbors.
Thank god my mother won’t see this. I can just see the look on her face that says she’s never used up every spoon in the drawer, she’s never let leftovers sit in the fridge for over a month, she’s never eaten spaghetti off a paper towel with her fingers because she ran out of things. And, not all of that can even be true, because first of all, I’m her daughter. I probably inherited this from her. Everyone runs out of things. Everyone gets a little too busy to bother doing anything other than rinse a pan. Okay so maybe I’ll rinse a pan. Then I’ll call my mother and ask for that recipe for bread machine cinnamon raisin bread. That thing’s still clean, and I have to admit, I’m a bit famished.
Jessica Marie Felleman is a writer from Massachusetts currently living in Los Angeles as a teacher, part-time nanny, and gymnastics coach. She’s working on her first novel while finishing her MFA in writing at CalArts, and trying to perfect her homemade bread.