top of page

Doing the Dishes

Updated: Mar 12

“Seb, before we can play The Sims, you have to do the dishes!”

I dragged myself downstairs, reluctant to submerge my hands in the myriad of ceramics sitting in that dreaded stainless steel sink. I had already slept the day away; why should I get something done now of all times?

If I do these dishes, I might miss a text from somebody, I thought.

I might not get to play The Sims 4 because of those dishes.

Maybe these dishes will take all night.

Maybe I won’t be able to get enough rest for the first day back at school.

Maybe I won’t be able to finish my homework.

Wait, did I have homework?

I groaned: “Might as well get it over with.”

Feet pounding on the linoleum floor and landing on the crimson woven rug, I hurriedly cleared the counter, carried around bags of produce and quickly swiped the powdered coffee creamer off of the dark granite counters before positioning myself in front of the sink.

So first, we rinse.

I jostled the faucet, ice-cold water spitting from its mouth. I bathed each dish in the sputtering stream, granules of freezing water adhering to my oversized t-shirt.

The dishes began to pile up on the counter; a stack of white bowls stood in the corner of my eye as I channeled my focus towards the profusion of silver spoons and forks. Kudzu of short glass cups sat to my right as I washed each utensil clean.

Seconds later, the ceramics that besieged me from the sink had turned into a fallen empire that I had conquered, precariously teetering between peace and disaster.

Next, we start the actual cleaning.

I squeezed out a drop of Dawn onto the blue sponge and ran it under the small spurt of water. I handled each dish, running the sponge through every crevice and folding it over the brim of every cup and bowl.

Not gonna lie, I have an affinity for certain dishes. For example, there’s a white bowl that’s the perfect shape and depth, and these glasses fit perfectly in the palm of my hand, and—

Is Christina playing The Sims right now?

That exact thought abruptly entered my serene mindset and disrupted my rhythm.

I need to hurry.

I bumped up the faucet a little more, the stream turning from a gentle flow to a hasty beam. I felt that this was not enough; I decided to push the faucet as far back as possible. The faucet was a gun shooting out bullet after bullet, and I matched my speed to the quick gunfire of the pipe.

I had just begun working around the rim of some stunning plates that my mom bought in Florida. I clumsily placed one on the counter, hurrying to finish washing up before my arm nudged the stack of glasses that sat to my right.

A loud crash penetrated through the atmosphere; millions of fragments lay at my feet as they collided with the tiles, and I quickly became a knight surrounded by the carnage of several glass cups. I had just begun to develop a swift cadence doing the chore, but that moment caused my inclination to evaporate into thin air and left me loathing the act more than I ever had before.

I instinctively ran towards the large door that led to the garage and grabbed the broom that read “Baguio” on its plastic green handle and the dustpan in an adjacent hue. I crouched to the floor and scooped the shards into the dustpan with a cursory sweeping motion. To ensure that the area was “clear,” I gave the broom one more scrappy run under the counters and called it a night.

I no longer had the motivation to play The Sims 4; I had already spent my night fulfilling my own duties, so I didn’t want to spend the rest of the night caring for somebody else’s needs, let alone one made of pixels.

Instead, I opted for my happy place: the shower. At least I could wash away what had happened, like I had washed away the mess from the plates.