THOUGHTS ON POTS

WORDS: KAI WILSON '16

IMAGE: RICK MANAYAN '17

IMAGE: RICK MANAYAN '17

She thought about her father as she washed the large pot.

Upon placing the dirty pot into the sink, she quickly understood that the volume of water it would come to hold in the process of washing was far too much water for the drain to withdraw from the sink efficiently. To avoid inundating the drain, she determined that the pot must be in constant motion. This ended up being quiet a physical job, requiring all parts of each arm to rotate the soapy pot onto its round corners without splashing dirty water or making so much banging noise that the whole endeavor became an inevitably cathartic event; one which she had not intended for—as one does not when just trying to wash a dirty dish.

But before all this—before her forearms were hugging the pot, turning its belly upside-down and spinning it around in the overflowing sink—there was the thought of her father. The pot was light and the aluminum metal was thin. There was a large dent developing on the base that breathed each time she massaged it with her palm or punctured it with her finger.

She thought about how a pot does not become dented when it is being used; we are gentle with the things we hold our meals in. It is the movement from cupboard to stove, or stove to sink, or in the sink itself, as it twirls around in its own excrement, that the pot becomes dented.

The thought of her father remained somewhere in the thought of dentations, and it was summoned back as the pot panged against the sides of the sink and hummed metallically in the basin. But, even while eternally simultaneous, the sound of the pot being washed is a much different thing than the washing of it. The washing, of course, gathered all the memories of the girl’s mother. All of her mother’s distinct touches—holding, carrying, bathing, dressing, grooming—were somewhere in way she moved her hands along the metal.

When she had finally managed to turn the pot upside down, so that its base was facing up and it’s mouth was sucking at the drain, the rumbling and punctuating pangs ceased and, without curl or bend in transition, the thought of the girls father was distinctly replaced by the thought of her mother.

She reached around the curves of the pot, her whole forearm embracing its body, and felt the surface for stubborn oils and food scraps. But she also understood that she would, once again, have to turn it back or the pot’s suction would hold the dirty water from draining.

She became melancholy as she gently tugged, so as to make no noise at all, at the lip of the pot until it popped and released itself from the drain. She held the pot midair, not knowing what she wanted from it, and watched the dirty water gulp back into the drain.