Ann Barnhardt has joined The Remnant. I present her first piece, “Diabolical Narcissim: “Go Clean Up the Kitchen You Stupid, Stupid Woman” without comment. What could I possibly add to this?
My evening ritual before turning in for the night was, in order, to go into the kitchen, wash and dry any and all dishes and cookware used that day, including the coffee pot, lift the grates off of the gas stovetop and thoroughly clean and polish the stainless steel stovetop, clean the countertops, kitchen table, and stainless steel double basin sink, and finally replace the stove grates and then set upon the perfectly clean stove the small saucepan for my friend to heat his milk for the next morning’s coffee.
Bear in mind, rarely were any of the dishes dirtied by me, as I ate out more often than not. Further, I was almost never the first in the kitchen in the morning, and was not a ritual morning coffee drinker. I cleaned the kitchen and set out the next morning’s accouterment not for myself, but for my friend and housemate. I wanted him to start his day off not with a dirty kitchen, dishes stacked in the sink, and a grease-covered stove, the thought in the back of his mind, “Oh, I’m going to have to clean this kitchen after I get home from work today….”
No. I wanted to give him the smallest of gifts – a little help around the house. And God forgive me, that twenty minutes of quiet, nightly kitchen clean-up, in particular the polishing of the stove and setting out of the saucepan, was the best part of my day. If I were dishonest I would say that something liturgical or some formal prayer was the best part of my day, but it wasn’t. The silent, spontaneous prayer of thanksgiving that flowed out of my soul as I recalled that day’s events, and how happy I was to be where I was, surrounded by friends, recalling past adventures and making plans for future adventures, and praying for my friend and housemate and his intentions, as I scrubbed grease splatter off of the stove with Ajax grease cutting spray and paper towels – that was the best part of my day.