I have this thing about keeping a sink clean, at least during the waking hours anyway. Is it obsessional or just practical? Having lived alone most of my life, and having no maid for this kind of thing, I seem to have always understood what needs to be done for my own sanity.
But why the sink? I care less about the laundry pile which has been washed and dried outside but seem to take forever to find its way to drawers and hangers. It lives in the purgatory of sofas and tables for weeks on end. But because I don't receive many visitors I don't worry about the visual mess. There is already so much visual mess around my home.
But the kitchen, on the other hand seems to be the Central Nervous System of my life. And the sink is the heart of that system.
Keeping a clean sink is a great way to pretend that one's life is clean and ordered; organised for a chaotic world outside the protections of home.
And it is in my home where I eat exclusively so my kitchen sink is used a lot. It's great pleasure to eat at home though in this region, one can eat out like a king and queen if they so desire. This is foodie country around Byron Bay.
I have a plumber who remarked to me after doing a few things around the place over the years.
"I can tell this kitchen is the most important place in your home!"
I agreed, only just to keep the conversation at a minimum but he was in the ballpark though. My small deck overlooking the garden is a very close second.
So the sink, one thinks... what about it? On one level, yes, it is my desire for the order which I cannot find in my mind, in my life. When the sink and kitchen is clean and sober I have a chance at being clean and sober, so I muse to myself.
But on another level, it isn't really about the sink at all, it's about the preparation for my own random, and possibly impending death.
When I lived in Aix, a million years ago, I was completely mad about hang gliding. I flew for 20 years and I went flying any chance I could mostly near Gemonos, not far from Marseille. It was a small bowl of a small mountain where we could climb high enough to see the whole coastline from Cassis to La Ciotat. Then, most weekends I flew with friends at various sites around the Southern Alps, but also too, in Italy in the summer. It was a glorious time; It was my youth.
But here is the thing: Whenever I left my house to go flying I always cleaned up the sink and I arranged the place so that it looked neat and orderly upon return. I was acutely aware that I might die, or become disabled if I screwed up in flight and I didn't want anyone else to be faced with a messy house. But especially if I died, then my friends would have to sadly make their way into this small house to figure out a way to contact my next of kin.
Why would I wish them to face a mess and a sink filled with unwashed cups and dirty dishes?
This was the real thing about the sink.