Prompt: This morning I woke up and_____.
Result: Creative non-fiction. Vignette.
Your Windows Have Been Cleaned Today
This morning I woke up and – alas! – was forced to rise.
After procrastinating a few moments, I sat up in the rumpled covers and procrastinated a few moments more. Then I slithered out of bed to pull my lazy limbs through the corresponding holes of some lazy clothes. The remains of last night’s glass of water soothed my gullet, but hit my stomach like a stone. I collected several items in the queue to go downstairs; some dirty dishes, some dirty laundry.
Downstairs, I wake the robot servants; put the washer to task, set the kettle to boil. I leave the dishes by the sink, soon to be joined by those of last night’s dinner, collected from the living room. The tea we drink is bitter and astringent. I have no soy milk left, so I use water and some lemon juice and steviol. Now it’s bitter and astringent, and tangy and sweet. My husband just nukes the mug he didn’t drink last night. I grab his water bottle from the fridge and go to catch the forecast.
The forecast is rain and today, I believe it. The morning sky is dull and grey. The air is cool and moist. Somehow, my spouse had known that this would be the day he’d be sent window cleaning. That the day he’d be sent window cleaning would be the day it rained, after all the days of burning sun. He asks me to write those words I’ve written so many times before. So I flop onto the floor like a fish on a deck and scare up a piece of drawing paper – it’s the only blank paper we have. I morph back onto the sofa and hunch like a ghoul over the coffee table.
‘Your windows have been cleaned today’ I write and write, and write. And again, and again, and again. Your windows have been cleaned today. Your windows have been cleaned today. There’s a brand on my brain in the shape of those words. Your windows have been cleaned today. I feel like Bart Simpson writing sentences on the blackboard with white chalk, colours reversed. My hand starts to ache. For some reason, I always press too hard when I’m trying to write clearly. It happens when I draw, too. Your windows have been cleaned today. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, so I’m not quite crazy. They also say hell is repetition. But Satan isn’t here yet. Your windows have been cleaned today.
I don’t know why I stop one row short, but I do. I cut the paper into little slips. They are nothing like uniform. I finish the last strip and cut that, too. I pile them up, the boring words; yours, windowses, haves, beens, cleaneds, and todays in equal measures. When my husband leaves, it is with a pocket full of words, all written in my hand. How many eyes will read them in the coming hours? My claim to fame. Those little white tetragons, tattooed with those words:
Your Windows Have Been Cleaned Today.