How to Pack a Dishwasher

Updated: Mar 19

step one. survey the sink

sample out dishes. scrutinize their sizes. run your hands through the soapy excess.

here is your mountain

there is your goal

here is your horizon

the heady aroma of dinner circulating amidst dying conversation

there are not many things as tactile as the dishes

these are not many problems as easily solved with soap and water

solvent solving everything

if water could cure poverty

vanquish depression

end war


step two. get acquainted with the dishwasher you will be filling

know its contours like you know the rims of your hallways

walk blindly in the dark

and know that the small dishes fit here

forks fit best off to the right

do not be afraid to experiment

you are newton with an apple

galileo with a telescope

reinvent, reshape, rethink

where does that go

where does fit best

and is that always the goal?

is efficiency the perverse incentive of mankind?

tuck these questions into the soap

loose them on the ridges of the machinery


step 3. start with the big plates

some will advise you to start small

send that email

feed the cat

tie your shoes

but i want you to start with the big plates

those hefty devices

lofting chicken, and rice, and salad

scrub off what they carry

and what do they look like under there

do not be afraid you use your nails

scrub

scrape

purvey their essence

these are your backbone

you will be surprised

when these are all freshly scrubbed

laid out neatly in the northwest corner of the bottom rack

how much room they took up

how much emptier and manageable your sink has become

ah

now you can breath

it’s all about renaissance

perspective

pulled back finely

sternly

to a single point

but the sink is more baroque, manneristic

forks folded atop spoons


step 4. line up your bowls

bowls should fit neatly against one another

curves complementing curves

strengths complementing strengths

good bowls

good friends

but remember to leave space for breath

for water

for rinse and recharge

reenact shakespeare strutting his players across the stage

creeps in this petty pace

from dish to dish

placing bowl after bowl

and if by chance, they don’t all fit perfectly

as they often quite perfectly do not

do not despair

see different bowls with different functions fit different

and while it may seem exile to the far corner of the cafeteria

this bowl will still be cleaned

still emerge

fresh, glazed and whole

solitude has no marker on cleanliness, no marker on godliness

appreciate its intentional loneliness


step 5. order the cutlery

see among the cutlery, there is hierarchy

feudal europe laid out between napkin and glass

big fork fold into small fork

big spoon slipping into small spoon

knifes like cavalry in long rows

this is for you now

but also you later

see order is an investment

in a couple of hours, this process will be behind you

lost to the foam of the sea, and the dryness of your hands

but when you go back, as all lovers do

you’ll be able to pick up all the spoons

in one pluck

in one fell swoop

see

there is hierarchy in the cutlery

mind you their sharp points


step 6. downturn the glasses

it may seem backwards to you at first

why?

glasses belong right side up

cupped to the heavens

primed for a tear

a downpour

an exhale

but tilt them,

twist them

so they become a stool

for the kind of fairies that frequent dishwashers

and other fine establishments

tilt them till they become clinking mountains

just wait, soon there will be waterfalls

fit for arcs of Yosemite


there is a step 7. a step 8, 9, and 10 too.

but i cannot tell you what they entail

per say

the dishes are never the same each time

they never end exactly the same way

similar to how tetris blocks pile up

or how twins, once nestled in the womb, lead disparate lives

the end is up to you

see, there are not steps for most parts of life

most things cannot be sorted and ordered

as easily as the dishes.

if there were

i would wish to list them for you

but dishwashing is good practice

and thus I leave the end up to you

disregard my steps

make up your own steps

but do not forget to step

forward, backward, upward, downward

step

and repeat.


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