Doing Dishes

I was doing the dishes yesterday. I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I am living at home with my mother, and I do try to help out with chores when I can. We have a dishwasher, but I always like to scrub them with soap and a sponge in the sink before putting them in the machine. In fact I clean them thoroughly enough that I should probably be fine with just placing them in the drawer, but nonetheless I always feel the desire to place them in the dishwasher to make sure they are as spotless as possible.

When the machine was done I opened it up and began placing everything back into its proper place. An issue arose when it came time to put away the silverware. I tried picking up a spoon from the little white basket where the silverware goes and I lost my grip and it fell inside sideways. Somehow it wedged itself deep enough in that I could not reach it with my fingers to nudge it loose. I took the basket out and flipped it upside down and shook, but the spoon was still stuck. I grabbed a fork to try to poke it out, but it refused to budge. The spoon was stuck. It was trapped in the basket that would always be in the dishwasher. The spoon was stuck in the dishwasher.

I thought a lot about the spoon, drawing parallels to it and perhaps identifying with it a bit too much. I wondered if it wanted to be there and that was why it it refused to leave. There was certainly an appeal to the idea of it, but it still was not good. The spoon no longer needed to work, could no longer work, no longer be the tool to provide sustenance that it was intended to be. It was retired some place safe, some place it was meant to be for brief periods of time, but certainly not some place it was always meant to be. It would be kept clean, being washed again and again, perhaps not washed any more times that it would have been in regular use, but never even given the chance to get dirty in the first place, making the act of washing it irrelevant. It had become part of the basket for silverware and made it a bit harder to put more silverware in the space that it occupied, but at least it was not impossible. The spoon was not much of a spoon anymore. It was still the same as it was and at the same time it was not. It lost all of the things it could do, its purpose as a spoon. Perhaps it was the shape it was that made it so easy to get stuck, its form. Form fits function and it was the form of an instrument for eating, but its form was apparently also the form for getting stuck in the basket as the shape of it had not changed. So long as it was stuck, it would no longer hold soup or bring food to a mouth. I wondered if it liked the taste of soup before being washed or preferred only drinking the soapy water of the dishwasher. Regardless, the soapy water was all it was going to taste.

The spoon was stuck in the dishwasher. I was washing the dishes at my mother’s house.

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