Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hazardous Shoals and Reefs


Although I think I love to be alone, I find that I am not very good at it. Perhaps from a lack of practice. Perhaps.

Today I watched about ten minutes each of three movies. I drank three beers. I ate hot dogs for lunch. I watered the garden. I cleaned the house and did laundry and I took apart the Okeefe & Merritt stove and cleaned her from stem to stern. I took off the grates and soaked them in vinegar and baking soda and scrubbed them down, took off the stove top sections and did the same number to them, then took the grillevator and the oven racks and the drip pans out, ditto. Wiped down the inside with vinegar and soapy water, cleaned the floor under the stove and behind it, got the broiler pan shiny, the pull out crumb trays, the oven knobs, then the heat vents. Once I got the baked on crap and the grease off all the inside, I wiped down the outside again until she was all glistening white and silver. She's still got the wear on her, the simmer caps and burner heads are worn and no longer shiny, the porcelain is cracked and threadbare in places, but she is a thing of beauty.

Then I had to wash the floor in the kitchen and give all the countertops a good bleaching and rubdown, cleaned and polished and dried out the sink, put everything away, started pacing again.

Left to my own devices, I will sterilize and make lifeless everything in my path.

Then I will put a simple bowl down on a bare table and call it good.


Cleaning is my yoga.


The dog regards me from her spot under the dining table with a half raised eyebrow before sighing and going back to sleep.

Nothing to see here.


I don't like social engagements. I don't like small talk. I won't go to a party if you put a gun to my head, unless you promise to do just that, and then pull the trigger.

What I do like is one-on-one: long, deep talks over beers or, best, walking through woods or along the edge of the water, or over a table strewn with some killer eats. Not just one-on-one, I'd say up to four people altogether. Beyond that, I grow bored. Everything skims along the surface.

I prefer the deep waters, and time enough to explore.


If you are reading this, I more than likely think of you as my friend. I don't get many strangers around here. And more than likely I don't give very much of myself back to you, at least not in the traditional intertubes way.

Don't mistake it for lack of regard, or unfriendliness.

It is just a character flaw I hold in spades.

You ought to ask my relations what they think of me. I don't return their calls, won't go over to their houses for dinner more than once or twice a year, am always begging off invites to this or that. And I love them. I truly do.

But I am kind of flinty, and self-involved, and selfish.


Then I find myself alone and wonder what the fuck.



Not really.


I am at peace with myself, even with my dissatisfaction.

I am what I am.

There is a measure of strength and goodness in me that counterbalances my stinginess and small-heartedness.

And the truth is that I put my money down where it counts most to me. I love the woman on the verge and the wild woman of borneo with a fierceness that burns away all half measures. I'll wager they know it, too.


Time for another beer. I wonder what the floor under the washing machine looks like right now?





Anonymous Anonymous said...

this cleaning thing of yours is very useful.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

Your economic way with words is clean, too.

i wonder what it looks like under my washer/dryer right now. I already moved the refrigerator and the stove last week before I got over here.

concerned about the poet.

12:06 AM  
Blogger St. deVille said...

i have ONE girlfriend i have had for 23 years. once, while she was going through some tough ass shit, i watched her clean our stoke with a box of 1,000 q-tips. i just sat there chain smoking out the window waiting for her to be done, then, when she was done, we just stared at the damn thing in absolute wonder. beauty.

8:22 AM  
Blogger St. deVille said...

stove. not stoke. i can barely type, which is amazing considering how much of it i do.

8:23 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

That you 'put your money down where it counts most' is what makes your life brilliant. And maybe that's where you get your peace from. And all that cleanliness don't hurt.

That's my philosophical thought for the day.

@ St. deVille - I was just thinking that stoke was such a great word, new to me slang for digs.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Mim said...

Flint gets at filth.

Earthy dirt wins.

Yours for paradox, dear Tearful . . .

Scrubber Mim

5:28 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...



11:33 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Jaye Ramsey Sutter-

Welcome. Thanks for stopping in and saying hello. I hope you'll find a reason or two to stick around.

How's tricks out in Sugarland?

11:35 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

St. De Ville-

I liked cleaning the stoke, too!

Fucking thousand Q-tips and chain smoking. What a great way to work through a bout of grief and damnation.

I'm real glad we can keep in touch.



11:36 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Thank you.

11:37 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Flint gets at filth, indeed.

The theme for the week!

Thank you, as always.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Melissa Green said...

Dear Tearful, you may feel flinty and selfish and damned cantankerous when it comes to large and largely useless parties, but dammit, man, your heart is so large, full of such energy and ferocity of love--it's terribly moving to read how much you adore the wild woman of borneo and the woman on the verge, and it would be a very great and lucky thing to be your friend.

I can't speak for your other readers, but I know how vivid and fierce and wonderful your writing is, which must, of course, be a reflection of the the person you are. Lucky us.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

Sugar Land is tricky. I am not native. I hale from Dallas/Irving and come here via Waco, Austin, Borger outside Amarillo, and Houston.

I love words. I love reading others and trying to write my own. My husband says I am good with dialogue so I am trying.

Your word view informs and you are captivating. I have found reason to stay if you will have me as another devoted friend. And I like the Bulldog and know the Woman holds it all together.

I will go back to the beginnings of your blog and catch up.

Thank you and peace.

11:56 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


You are too kind. I like that, though. There could stand to be more of it in the world.

I'm glad you've found this place, gladder that you take something from it.



6:59 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Jaye Ramsey Sutter-

I'm a Dallas native myself, though we left when I was only five. I don't think it shows on the surface, but I have always felt like a Texan deep down where it counts.

I'm glad to have your company.



7:02 AM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

I am going to a party tonight. I never go to parties. And now, all I will be able to think about is this:
"I won't go to a party if you put a gun to my head, unless you promise to do just that, and then pull the trigger."
I know it already.
Thank-you for giving me a frame for the experience I am about to have.

1:06 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

I'm glad you found this place, and I'm sorry you have to go to a party.

Buck up, woman.

I stopped by your blog and read a little bit and I have to say that I was struck by some similarities we seem to share- long married, joyfully participating in the sorrows of life, books, love, sleeping....

I look forward to getting to know you better.



1:24 PM  

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