Minor Scale Disaster

Kent Freeman whistled while he worked. The simple tasks of dusting and mopping took up less than half of his attention, and he focused the remainder of his brain on perfecting the drumbeat in his newest composition.

He picked up a stray fork from behind the couch and absentmindedly tucked it into a back pocket. The pair of unmatched socks that he also found back there became puppets on each hand, singing along to the rhythm of the song in his head. All at once, the entire song snapped into focus for Kent, and he stripped the socks from his hands and dropped them on the couch.

He dashed to his office and played the parts that he had recorded so far. Yes. Perfect. A quick edit here, a little tweak there, and Kent’s newest masterpiece was ready to send out for rejection.


Kent leaned back in his comfy chair, prefatory to laced his fingers behind his head in satisfaction, and the fork he had forgotten in his pocket stabbed him just to the left of his spine. He straightened with a howl, wondering if by some mischance he had laid a jigsaw blade in his seat. His hands reached behind himself to comfort the hurt place with complete disregard for their own safety, and he grasped the fork in sudden confusion.

When he pulled the bent fork from behind him, he laughed in spite of the harm that he’d done to his favorite leather chair.  The lesson was learned that day: no forks entered Kent’s back pocket for at least the next two weeks.



Solitary Spring Cleaning

Olinda lifted the window until it was fully open, to let in all the light she possibly could. The weather had been particularly cruel lately, and it was high time that spring set in. The curtains were heavy with dust and disuse; the allergens they kicked up caused her to sneeze into her elbow.

The donation from the church would be coming later, and Olinda needed the house to be ready. At least the sitting room. At least the front porch. Amazingly enough, the sitting room was in pretty good shape, aside from the curtains. She tried to keep up with the cleaning throughout the winter, since she couldn’t get out and do anything else.

Her hand rubbed her hipbone through her dress; the arthritis was getting worse and worse. This may be the last year she did her spring cleaning all by herself, but she hoped not. The only thing worse than a stranger cleaning one’s house was having to find a stranger to clean one’s house.

Her grandkids were no help. All they cared about were their pokeymans and their eyephones. No help at all. Olinda shook her head in disgust at the thought. They needed to use those fancy phones to fill out an application for a job. She was disappointed in herself; she thought she’d raised her own kids well enough that they should have known how to raise theirs.

It was too late to worry about that now. Olinda glanced at the clock and hurried to get to work. The church people would be here in about three hours. Just enough time to wash and dry these curtains.


Ritual Cleansing

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Think about your day. Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?

Since July, I’ve gotten three new piercings, so one of my daily rituals is cleaning them.

I generally subscribe to the LITHA method of piercing aftercare–leave it the hell alone. It’s served me well, and even my most recent, a second nostril piercing, is less than a month old and almost fully healed. That one doesn’t get much special cleaning, but my two forward helices certainly do.

I knew I was in for a long healing and aftercare period before I got them, but I was prepared. Mostly. I’ve had them three months and two months, and I still have to clean crusties off daily. I’ve never had a piercing that I couldn’t see both sides of, so this is a new experience. So is hypertrophic scarring, but one has already disappeared, so we’re going well.

Every night before bed, I turn the bathroom faucet on full hot, and cup the water in my hand to wash over my ear. I lean over the sink like this until the water gets too hot to take, unless my ear is feeling sore, in which case I turn some cold on to slightly mitigate the heat and keep going. This works soothing wonders. And unlike a cup, the water doesn’t get cold. Unless you have some serious stamina and don’t mind not being able to stand up straight after leaning under a faucet for however long it takes to empty the water heater.

When I’ve had enough, I blot around my ear with a towel, then use cotton swabs to dry all the crevices in my ear. Finally, I take a damp cotton swab to clean around each piercing. There is usually quite a bit of yuck on the backside, which I tend to marvel at before tossing my cotton swab. So much crud.

Then I wash my face and moisturize and we’re done!

Oh, days I can’t perform it? There aren’t any. I make sure of that. Even if I happened to not have running water, I would still have an ear-dedicated bottle of water and some cotton swabs. I don’t want to screw up my ear.