Wrung

Soapy chlorine water fills the bucket. Leathery hands ball up the large gray rag and push it past the foam. Bubbles yield, fizzling. Sloshing and dunking thrice the rag is rescued from near drowning and drips limp above the stringent fumes. Squeeze and flick the excess before the real torture begins. Twisting it around itself, contorting and gripping, shaken the rag is wrung almost dry. Routine abuse wraps the exhausted cloth around a stiff rubber edge. The groans are audible as the worthless piece is rubbed back and forth across the dirty surface. Crumbs, left-over bits, spills, accidents, dried insect body parts stick on the coarse fibers, redefined by grime. Back and forth without a breath. Back and forth raw callouses emerge. Back and forth unkind and uncaring. Back and forth pushed to the limit. Back and forth can’t scream just stop. No more! All is silent. The wasted rag is lifted in the air. Maybe this is the rest. Maybe this is the end. Ripped from the post, choked in the grip, suffocated and held under the cleansing wet death. Grasping, dripping, it all starts again.

To what end? An inferiority complex is the only visible benefit for that ruined rag. Hung out to dry for hours on end only to find the sporadic attention it receives leaves it feeling used and unimportant. Dispensable. Unwanted. Stuffed in a dark corner to await its next beating.

Yet it complains not. It utters not a word. It’s saving luxury it’s inanimacy. No soul to feel, no spirit to crush, no mind to fear and doubt.

rag wrung and wrapped on rubber

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