O bloody. I think I’m developing a hand-washing fetish.
It is a reliable diagnosis [I am almost certain] because MY MOTHER noticed. Mothers, especially mine, never notice unless they’ve said it at least a million and a half times. The halfth time is when she’s just about barely said “H…” in that sighing, soap loving, child rearing tone and my hands shoot up – gleaming and wet and exuding a gentle-wash lemony floral bouquet, my eyebrows come together, my mouth twists sourly, and starts tiching and barking short “I did” yelps. These days my mouth doesn’t twist sourly it curls into a fresh lemony smile forming floral “I did” shapes, involuntarily.
I wash my hands now. Unasked.
Just this ought to have me quailing in my chuddies, biting my nails down to my elbows, installing restrainers at the wash-basin. Instead I just keep creeping my fingers toward the press-nozzle springiness of imminent delight. You’ll be asking why, just about now and I might as well answer because it is cathartic – this blogging thing. Because it’s an alarmingly regressive hereditary condition in my family. All women on my Mum’s side of genealogy – three [not] wyrd sisters of the Burnpore outback – post-motherhood-pre-something discover a particular baptismal quality to washing. There’s nothing that a good hand washing cannot redeem. Bacteria, foul temper, poor blood circulation and bad karma. Absolution is clearly in the innocuous nozzle of a soap dispenser.
By the way, have you noticed that when you really really get the hang of the word ‘clean’, the idea of a cake of soap being used by more than one pair of hands is a gruesome, macabre, hell-raising thought?
Actually, many things now seem gruesome. For instance other people’s hands. Or going 31 minutes without washing one’s hands. Or touching things in those 31 minutes.
It can be tough when one is used to biting one’s nails. I feel I must wash my hands after they’ve hovered masochistically around [‘in’ is just too crass] my mouth. Which is odd, because mum said hands must be washed so that they could become mouth safe. Not that she said my hands must be stored away in my mouth when not in use…
But this, I suppose, as all events in our lives, is symptomatic of something else. Something larger. Something that has a perverse preoccupation with becoming cosmically meaningful. This something being dirt. The realness of it. The dirtiness of it. The absolute ill-health of it. The creepingness of it into the ridges of the skin on my phalanges and the crevices in my head.
How else does one explain the sense of morality involved in washing my hands? The glorious bursts of celestial fireworks, floral showers, soft white clouds and pristine sparkles of pureness akin to the dust that dancing apsaras kick up – okay maybe not dust – that spring forth in my head when my hands come out dolphin like from under the tap, fragrant with caressing mild liquid soap; and clean.
I think I might have a crush on liquid soap. The rich sparkly creamy floral lemony kind.
That’s it. No OCD. It’s just a bleedin’ crush. Wah hahaha. That was close.