After the foggy, damp start, the sun broke through with a forceful brilliance. A great day for washing, washing, and washing! A mission it was, after all, to breathe and touch cleanliness once more. So here, today, the full languid process unfurls.
How glorious is a gentle, warm shower, twice shampoo-ed hair, conditioned, soaped and scrubbed down all over, turning slowly, touching cool smooth tiles, toes wriggling, and twirling carefully inside happy space. An old bathroom, just like the other one, but scrubbed and maintained. No cloying stink of rancid human embedded in threads of unkempt soggy towels, no dust or grime smeared across floor tiles, and no running out of water mid-way through. A little luxury too much taken for granted – basic, unhindered access to hygienic practice. Ah, the wonderment of squeaky clean hair!
Time to do the laundry. Washing machine reminded me of the one I once had, the one taken from me by the neighbourhood con-woman – it felt like an age ago. No rust, not filthy threads clogging up the crevices, just a sturdy well maintained machine. A quick wash cycle and an extra spin. All done in less than thirty minutes. Save electricity, save water.
Beautiful shimmering light and almost hot sizzling waves wrapping us inside a light, airy cocoon. Putting the clothes on the Hills Hoist as Lucy sniffs around, checking out the fresh smells of nature and nurture. No, no, do not touch the tomato plant! Oh, Lucy, please don’t nibble at the lettuce! Sorry, this isn’t our garden. Remember when we had our own backyard? Perhaps, someday, we shall again… Cheeks burning, clothes all hung up and pegged, time to scuttle inside quick!
Ventured forth to the park, but it was far too hot for Lucy. We walked in the shade, and practised “Stay-and-Wait”. Then Lucy decided it was time to head home, so we did. Chewies and water for the hound, crunchies and cranberry juice for the human.
Back in home-base, it’s lunchtime for two! Lucy had sautéed and lightly simmered chicken liver, giblets and heart from yesterday. My lunch was a tasty beef brisket with broccolini, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Topped with anchovy-stuffed olives. Delicious, but brisket didn’t have enough time inside the pot to soften. Another reminder of how out-of-touch I’ve become at this cooking process.
Hello, hello, and some brief social exchange, variously with host and another guest. No racist, ableist, homophobic, sexist jokes. No lifting of shirt to scratch, scratch, scratch exposed bare belly. No intrusive and unsolicited comments or inane remarks for tired brain to process. Just hello, good morning, what a lovely sunny day! No high-pitched yawning, no sudden and jarring sonic blibs stabbing the still atmosphere as we pass each other. Just walk on, smile, swishing and rustling as we pass.
A post-lunch banana? Yes, please, says Lucy! Now, time to climb into day-bed for snuggles.
This Bunny human needs to write up a proposal. Still gripped tightly by tentacles of exhaustion. Sensory fear and anxiety not yet dissipated, churning ominously in concentric circles, just like water unable to drain from a clogged sink. Don’t want to dwell on it, but the dread is all-pervading, soon we will have to return to sensory-hell and social purgatory.
The painful irony is that the inferno is but another gift of charity, a bizarre cosmic comedy, and the pain the result of harsh collision between two opposite worlds. No fault of the giver – apart from the racist-sexist-homophobic-ableist worldview, which perhaps cannot be helped – the offer of sanctuary was well meaning. Guilt jabs at agony, but the senses are unable to un-sense the confrontations, no matter how hard the logical mind tries to mitigate – the senses sense what they sense, unfiltered by social niceties or social reasonings. The choking feeling of horror and the screaming reluctance to return into that realm: It is not ingratitude, it is merely unfiltered agitation and distress.
In the meantime, pushing the mind-body energy to savour the luscious textures of sensory peace.
Clement Space. Such a crucial entity, yet so elusive, so fragile and ethereal. The quest continues. The yearning grows louder, but the soul is slowly melting into the abyss of despair.
Only one thing holds all things together. A Canine Angel called Lucy. Non-verbal, but more eloquent than a wealth of worded flourish. The cosmos speaks tenderly through every twitch of her whiskers, each proprioceptive gesture, and the depth of deep, amber eyes.