“I’m going to clean our shower,” I said. “It’s been too long and it’s really dirty.”
I grabbed the strong cleaners, rubber gloves, opened the windows and turned on the fan. I knew this would be a big job for me. Especially since I hate to clean anything at all.
Naaman took care of the kids downstairs while I started spraying down every inch of the space.
The room filled with clorox and chemicals but I didn’t care. The “natural” stuff just wasn’t gonna cut it this time.
I worked for a long time. Scrubbing the walls, the doors and the floor of the shower.
I turned on the water above. As hot as it would get. I moved the shower head so it hit the places where I had scrubbed. I turned off the water and surveyed how clean it was.
There were streaks on the glass doors. There were traces of dried soap on the tile. The floor still had a layer of dirt over it.
Nope, not clean enough. I went in search of more cleaners. Surely we had something that would do the job.
Comet. Yes. The stuff my mom used to clean when I was young.
I went back to the shower and started moving the can up and down and all around. The white powder landed everywhere. Probably in my hair and on my skin too. But I didn’t care. I just had to get it clean.
I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed hard. Then harder. Then the hardest I had ever scrubbed any surface before. My clothes were covered in cleaner and water and dirt. But I hardly noticed.
It’s still dirty. It’s still dirty. It’s still dirty. My brain sang like a song that plays over and over and over.
I turned on the water again, watched it rain down. I decided to get in. The water was hot and the steam filled the room. It didn’t matter. I put my face into the stream of it. Watched the swirl of dirt gather and then disappear into the drain.
My tears mixed with the water and I realized my internal chant had changed.
Unclean. Unclean. Unclean.
God, will I ever be clean again? Will I ever sparkle like the brightest star in the sky again? I waited for an answer. For a sign. For anything that would help me feel better while the water beat down on my skin.
Finally, I turned off the water.
“Clean enough,” I said. “This will have to do.”