Yesterday, shortly after I wrote the previous post, a brand new jug of liquid detergent fell off of our washing machine, landed on its lid, and cracked open. Every drop of detergent – all 2.95 litres – oozed onto the floor of the closet that houses our washing machine. Half went under the machine; half went to the rest of the closet, where we store chairs, tools, linens, and my sewing machine.
We didn’t notice this had happened until my husband was taking the dog out. The detergent had oozed under the closet doors and across the tiles of our entrance hallway. It was dye-free detergent, so at first we thought it was water, that the washing machine had leaked. I got a towel to wipe it with and discovered the slimy truth almost immediately.
My first thought, seriously, was, Well, at least we don’t need to get the washer repaired. My second thought was: Uh. Now what?
Adding water was only going to create mountains of unmanageable suds. This had to be scooped up “dry”, so scoop I did, down on my hands and knees with a big rubber spatula.
The entire operation took about four hours. Soap-covered tile is as slick as ice. I am thoroughly sore.
Of course, it took me until the point where my legs were shaking to finally realize, Oh, I could just kneel on a towel, right in the ooze. I don’t have to squat precariously balanced on my toes. Also: Who cares if I get this stuff all over my pants? I can wash them. I won’t even need to add any soap.
I suppose shouldn’t describe the viscous black sludge you get when many years’ worth of accumulated sub-washer dirt combines with liquid detergent. No, I won’t describe that at all. I will dream about it for weeks though.
No matter how many exciting and wonderful things may come from being a writer, my life also consists – and will always consist – of me on my hands and knees in a dimly-lit closet, scraping up snotlike, grimy goo with a spatula. I hope it will usually be metaphorical goo and a metaphorical spatula, but you never know. The point is, there’s something comforting in the prospect of absurd unglamorousness – stories are born out of just that kind of slime.