Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lady Macbeth on soap

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.

16 comments:

Lizza said...

In addition to all the things you said, I think there's something sensual (sensuous?) in the act of washing one's hands. And that isn't a dirty thought, maybe just a weird one.

B Ditty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H said...

Lizza this liquid soap certainly is a smooth sort of fellow. And lemony floral. no no no not weird. And certainly not dirty.

Ben, ummm, have you considered carrying a hose and a bucket of soap around, sweetie? It's great for a workout on the go, I hear.

B Ditty said...

sure have

Witness Street said...

And that lemon scent lingers as we read this eloquent observation of crushin'. Better news is, that soap will love you back. Like -in my experience- a human being won't.

(Oh, I've a similar washing fetish. Feet, this time. Ha!)

Julia Scissor said...

Really? How about having a crush on Dettol antiseptic?
I mean the liquid, not the soap.

H said...

Ben. Awww. So, err…?

Migs, Migs Migs, my dear, there is a lot of pain in those words. Clean feet! Oh brother! Where’ve you been?

Julia, that is just a bit too kinky. Though, now that you’ve asked, have you…?

lost said...

hey,
post more often.
ur stuff is incredibly funny.

H said...

Lost, hullo. Most kind of you. My stuff is [technically ARE] confused which of us you're referring to [our blog, our life, our head (oh all right! AND the other voices), our fetishes, our low-self-esteem etc.] But we're ALL very pleased. Terribly much. Come, have an earl grey with us.

Prometheus said...

There there dear, do we still feel like we are Ophelia. Or are we Josephine today?

Prometheus Freud thinks H is trying to wash out Damn Spots from her hand. The Damn Spots that she got when she didn't answer back his call.

The sin catches up with the sinnah. Wot say, sistah?

H said...

Prowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwm! [I nearly said prawn] brothah. How well thee understands thine sinning sibling.

for this the head is hung. *honestly*

But the damned spots. oh no no no. it's just that this lemony floral thing... oh, dear heart.

Prometheus said...

Jezus, H. Prawn? Are ya saying Prometheus is that down the ecology chain? He fancied himself for a panthera tigris. Well, if it has to be acquatic then Prometheus would be a shark. A sharkopath. But prawn? Thine snide comments impale the soul of Prometheus with iron barbs. With friends like these, who needs America?

Anonymous said...

Stop flying H!

Did someone tell you how unnatural your stuff is? try some earthy humour next time

-Adarsh

H said...

Oho Prom, get out of that sulk now. I called you a prawn, you called me America. we're even, ok?

Hullo Adarsh. First, welcome. :-)

Second, I will fly [and shit on everything I fly past, if I so wish.] So please refrain from telling me what to do with my wings.

However…

How interesting that you should find my writing [I presume that’s what you meant by ‘stuff’] unnatural. Would you care to explain what you mean by that? And by ‘earthy humour’?

Thank you [sincerely] for being so forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

It seems it's your nature to "SHOUT" at everything good told to you. Ever heard of constructive criticism?

Anyway all I meant H, was to tell you that you have the potential but your writing needs to positioned differently. You need to take the reader along in your flight rather fly over her. Her flight is afterall what matters. Because you dont need to write to complete your flight! Right?

In your case however one can smell the sadistic snappiness in both your writing and your counter comments.

It's your 1GB of fame...keep shiting.

H said...

My my. ‘Adarsh’. Don’t you have a foul temper!
If you want to give ‘constructive criticism’ my dear, you shouldn’t get personal about it. Makes people react aversely to your invaluable opinion. Unreasonable, I know.
Also, clearly, you enjoy shouting and shitting on my blog, as much as I do!