Dirty Dishes

You’re scrubbing at the stain on the dirty plate / furious / you have to make it go away and you are more stubborn than it / so although your wrist aches and you just felt your thumbnail break / you stand there / sweating / scouring / for as long as it takes / because you must make this plate perfect again / and you’ve worked yourself up into a bit of a state / but it’s okay because at the end of this you’ll have won

and so much time has passed and your boyfriend / the owner of the plate / comes in to check on you / and you’re muttering about ‘this fucking ketchup’ / tears of frustration streaming down your face / when he says / quietly / ‘babe, that’s not a stain, it’s part of the design on the plate’ / and what a fucking terrible realisation / that no amount of soap or force or sheer determination / will ever fix the plate to your satisfaction / that its ugliness is permanent / that in your eyes its always going to be tarnished / marred / imperfect / that there’s nothing you can do to change / a part of a design that you didn’t create / that no amount of work will ever make it plain again / ever make it pure again / ever make it perfect / ever make it sane.

[Featured image by Joshua Ryan]

15 thoughts on “Dirty Dishes

  1. I remember a time (a lifetime ago) when I felt this way about something that made me cry tears of frustration. It took me back, which is not always a good thing, but I’m always happy to read you and even happier when I can relate to what you’ve written. 💙

  2. What an amazing, evocative piece! I paused and took a deep breath after reading it. Wonderful expression of emotion! There’s a strange beauty in imperfection, and so, you remember that and stay strong dear Helena ❤️

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