I don’t want to be dramatic or anything, but sometimes, even the most mundane of chores becomes epic to me. Dante Alighieri may have been writing about Hell in his Inferno, but it seems just like dishwashing to me.
Every night after dinner, it goes something like this:
Limbo – Some people think dinner is over. Some people just finally sat down to eat 30 seconds ago. No one is actively clearing the table, but some dishes are in the sink.
Lust – The dishwasher’s lament: dessert. While she is elbow deep in grease, younger people with faster metabolisms are taking gelato, fudge and even warm brownies out to make a delicious dessert that she really, really wants.
Gluttony – So I ate the brownies and ice cream. And it became like the mud Virgil (Dante’s guide in the underworld, you’ll recall) fed to the three mouths of Cerberus.
Greed – That was me shouting out “Why do you hoard those dishes I will later forget you used and then have to wash even more dishes after I think I’m done?? Why do you waste so many hand-wash-only cups when you could just reuse the same on all day? You can’t catch cooties from yourself!”
Anger – This is where I start to “rend and snarl” at everyone.
Heresy – The heretics may say that ice cream bowl with fudge welding it to the table is not theirs. They may even insist that there are no dishes to bring to the table. Dissenters! Why have they wandered into my realm?!
Violence – A river of blood (how my hands feel right now) is where Dante finds those who are violent to their neighbor. Gnarled thorny trees (how my hands feel) are those who are violent to themselves. The great plain of burning sand (does anyone have any Bag Balm? I think the skin on my hands needs revitalizing!) is what awaits those who are violent toward God.
Fraud – Liars of all sort populate this circle of dishwashing hell. They are the wine glass that is somehow dirtier when it goes through the dishwasher, the fork that hides a grain of rice in its tyne, the greasy pan lying by failing to report its presence on the stove.
Treachery – In this final circle of hell, traitors are trapped in an icy lake. By now, the hot water has run out, so the water in the sink feels like an icy lake. Barely submerged is the Le Creuset dutch oven which will never give up that starchy crust that burned on there when I went to check my Facebook page. Totally submerged are those STUPID plastic cups that everyone uses, like, 23 of PER DAY and just throws them in the sink for me to wash by hand because, joke’s on me, they CAN’T. GO. IN. THE. DISHWASHER. Because: Cancer. Traitors.
The absolute center of hell – Like Lucifer, half submerged in the ice lake, one last thing remains in the sink: the soggy, stubborn end of an onion, carelessly tossed in the there and causing a slow drain. I pluck it out and head literally to the TV room, but metaphorically into the River of Lethe, or forgetfulness. Otherwise, why would I do this again tomorrow night?