It’s a Lovely Day (with Bill Withers in the kitchen)
On the first week of confinement, our dishwasher went silent, irremediably old and broken. We measured the spot where a new one will be installed one day, realizing it’s not coming too soon. Nobody is sending a professional installer to hook it in your plumbing system and we won’t call our plumber or anyone else at home to do that now. If the same had happened three months ago, I would’ve found the shop with the fastest delivery option and will be annoyed for two or three days washing the dishes by hand:
“This is so much work!”
“Why you guys leave so many dishes in the sink? Pigs!” (This last word louder, extending the “i”).
For the past three weeks, dishwashing by hand has been my new form of meditation. I developed the best method to fit everything in one of the sink compartments first. Then I soap every plate, fork and pan with a sponge and detergent, and finally rinse them in the other compartment with warm water. Leaving everything to dry also requires skills. Years ago, I learned with a dear friend that the best way to let your dishes dry efficiently is to pile them with a pyramidal shape in mind, so the water drains faster from all surfaces. That was proved correct and every day I build a new improved pyramid on the right side of my kitchen sink.
I listen to the radio while I work in the kitchen: depending on the time of the day, it’s the Brian Lehrer Show, Brazilian radio, Italian radio with harrowing COVID19 news, or just music from my own playlist. My favorite soundtrack to wash dishes (since my youth years, when I didn’t own a dishwasher) is anything from Bill Withers, who sadly died a few days ago. I still haven’t grasped it in the midst of all the crazy news inundating our lives these days, so I’ve been listening to “Lovely Day”, one of my all time favorites, much louder this week. Really loud. Preferably with all the windows open.
When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day
When I start playing “Lovely Day” for the second time or when the playlist moves on to “Use Me” or “Ain’t No Sunshine” I’m almost in the end of my wash. I display the glasses by the windowsill and watch their reflection in the outside light. I’ve been busy these days, teaching online, taking care of my now permanently full house, writing and planning magazine work. But if there are a few minutes left before the next task, I will put away soap and sponge and dance in the kitchen.
(To pyramid master PRJ)