Cleaning Day

Friday’s my cleaning day. On this particular one the bedding was also changed – once John was out of the bed – the duvet and underblanket aired, the mattress turned, sheet, cover, cases to be washed. Soaking, washing, rinsing, spin-drying would take all day, the silks drying flat on the console, rolled up during meals I cooked between times. All John did was keep out of my way, probably for the best since he’s not yet able to help coordinatedly and would’ve hindered. He watched football and The Wire. I also shopped. Late afternoon I took in pillows off the balcony sage and strewed the duvet on the carpet for further drying inside.

John’s eyesight’s bad. He tripped over the duvet, pressed the wrong button on the remote and lost The Wire. It sounded very much as if he were blaming me for this trifling mishap I at once rectified. I pointed out the duvet was big enough to be seen and the loss was of his own making. Even his smoking a cigarette to calm down sounded like it was being put upon me. I ignored all this, refusing to pursue the argument he seemed to be wanting while thinking he’s done nothing except watch dvds and this one upset is supposed to smack of grievous inconsideration for him, who is admittedly coming off smack – for the second time.

The last of the washing was hung on the horse, the machine put away, the spin-drier shedded. The dishes too were washed up for the day and left to drain in the rack. I was making up the bed. He thought he might get up for the rugby from New Zealand at eight next morning, a hint to record it for him. I did that. He hadn’t switched the recorder off. “You haven’t switched the recorder off!” I snatched the remote and did so. “It has to be switched off to record.” “You’re treating me like shit on your heel, you arrogant cunt,” he said. Anger seared me but I did not pursue it. I had been exasperated with him.

As I was standing on a stool, determining what bed linen to use, he started packing. “What are you doing? Are you going to throw everything away because of that? If you do, it’s because you want to.” I refused to placate by getting down and soothing by word or act. I was prepared to let him leave. He unpacked and helped make the bed. “There’s bound to be more than that in any relationship,” I observed. “Was that the fourth time?” he’d been leaving.

He said he would’ve walked around and come back in an hour. I said if he’d left I might not have let him back in. He said we’d had sex every night for the last week. “Me too?” Me too. We had the night off. It had been a tiring day and in any case I was inhibited by the clean sheet.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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