Plates encrusted with an age worth of food grime, and pots burnt black on the bottom. I like to fill the sink way up with hot hot water, hot enough to hurt my hands, and soap, lots, enough to make bubbles.

I like to do them in order, I start with small things, the bowls. Stack them neatly in the rack, the way they fit together, over each other, so cozily. And then the plates, one by one into the slots, tall and straight and draining easily.

Cups next, mostly just a swishing and rinsing, clear unpatterned glass drying shiny and smooth. (It's amazing how smooth hot clean glasses can feel). Then the cutlery, forks knives spoons, separated into the two silverware drainage spots.

I like the way everything lines up neatly. I like the way my hands get dirty and soapy and wet and clean. I like the way I can make order so easily, because how hard is it to wash the dishes anyway? And doesn't the place look better now with that counter cleaned?

Often, when I'm done with the dishes I will wipe down the counters and table and stovetop and sweep. I'm a maniac, but still, I draw the line at drying.

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