The wind-up

‘You can’t stack it like that.’ Lesley looked at me like I’d put everything in upside down.

‘Yes I can. I just did. It’s efficient.’

‘It’s illogical. The cups go together. The bowls on the bottom.’

I looked at my handiwork—the intricate three-dimensional geometry of it. ‘You don’t appreciate dishwasher perfection.’

‘You don’t appreciate that if you don’t fix it you’ll be sleeping on the couch.’



I considered another really but thought better. ‘You don’t have to look at it. I’ll just shut the door and it’ll all go away.’

‘But it won’t. I’ll know.’

‘What’s to know?’

‘That. Everything mixed up. All higgledy-piggledy.’

‘Don’t worry about it.’

She crossed her arms, bit down on her lips, waiting. I slotted a plastic plate neatly in between two glasses. How long could I keep it up? She inhaled through flared nostrils. Perhaps it was back-off time.

‘Oh, alright. Just for you. But it won’t all fit—I’m telling you.’

‘I don’t care. ‘

‘You don’t. But I thought——’

‘If it fits. I don’t care if it fits. I just want it done right.’

‘Done your way.’

‘Like I said. Done right. Honestly, it drives me insane. You drive me insane.’

‘But you still love me.’

She gave me the eye.

I started rearranging.