Just Brillo My Brain.

By January 20, 2016blog

Sometimes, it is strange how a mind can work, creating wavy and curly lines, squiggles and circles, triangles and wiggles; where nothing makes any sense.


My throat was a bit sore, and I figured a dose of vitamin C would do me some good. The layman’s medicine of orange juice is what the doctor would order. Upon opening the perfectly organized cabinet, I took out a freshly cleaned, tall glass. While holding it, I noticed there was a bit of pulp left on the inside rim. Hmm. I looked hard and saw there was more than a just a little bit of pulp; there was a lot of sticky, hardened orange pulp, and it wasn’t just on the top part of the inside rim where I thought I missed a single spot. There were pulp specks and smudges everywhere from the bottom to the top. I didn’t want tobelieve what I was seeing. In fact, I was embarrassed; after all, I was the one who washed the dishes, and I am always impeccable. So, what had happened? Oh well, don’t make a big deal; just wash it. Suddenly, I began questioning myself. Were there more dirty dishes? My sometimes obsessive, compulsive personality told me to pull out every glass, cup, plate, bowel and piece of silverware in the kitchen and check for any remnants of leftover food; however, being as I was in no mood to find out, I forced my rational self to let it go, at least for the moment. It’s so funny how the inner mechanism of my mind can play with me at any given moment.

Trying to convince myself that it must surely have only been this one particular glass with the issue, I inserted my hands into my dish gloves and I began to wash the gooey gunk off the glass. The new soap dispenser was working perfectly as I pumped the liquid cleanser onto the wet sponge. Hot water from the faucet fell as I watched the soapy sponge begin to bubble. Hot water, rinse, scrub, rinse, scrub and rinse again. I took a look but wasn’t sure if there was still pulp on it, so I took off my gloves, dried the glass and then decided to feel it; just to be sure it was perfect. Nope, there was still some residual pulp there. And, it certainly did not bode well for my ego.

My mood became foul and angry, as one thing I cannot stand is a dirty dish, especially a stained one! Now, I had no choice but to admit defeat by running upstairs for my glasses because now, I not only needed my glasses for reading, but for washing the dishes too. Ugh. That was a real eye opener.

Spectacles on, I stared intently into the glass and saw each tiny piece of stubborn pulp. Keep scrubbing, I told myself. It’s still there. Then, I knew, a sponge would not be enough. It was time to pull out the heavy stuff, the big guns for dishes, “Brillo.”

My brain fired up as I realized that all the soap and sponging could not remove the sticky pulp around the edges unless I could really see it… by putting on my glasses. I tried hard to fight the urge to look closely. Perhaps, it was the fear of seeing what I did not really want to see. Something began to gnaw at my brain. I did not want to acknowledge how so many sticky things had accumulated in my own life. How bad had the pulp in my life become that it had to be removed from my mind?

It was like a fantasy in action. I couldn’t help but imagine that this is what it takes to move through life; it takes something as strong as Brillo and the willingness to scrub through my own gooey existence to clean up whatever mess was in my head. The glass came to life with effervescent foam and I realized that with the right vision and courage and self-trust, perhaps, I could finally get clean and crystal clear in my own head, just like the glass I was so intent on cleaning. These bubbles stood for the things that I should be scrubbing for myself. Of course, my brain is not a material thing but it represented what I wished I could do to my thoughts; simply take a Brillo pad and scrub out the mess in my mind. As silly as it seemed, I thought, “wow, if I could really do this to my head, then maybe, my life would really be all right.” I just stood at sink, staring at the Brillo and glass in hand, and contemplated.

I could be doing something to help myself like I’m doing with this glass. If I paid as much attention to my own self-cleansing within a memory bank filled with my own sticky existence as I did to the sticky glass, then, maybe, I would finally be ready to be filled up with fresh juice.

Scrubbing hard, I watched as the bubbles became more effervescent and imagined myself emerge, crystal clean. How funny, a simple glass, some soap, hard scrubbing and an eye opening metaphor to the frustration of my inability to make an inanimate glass appear crystal clean. Interesting what one single pad of Brillo can do to your brain.

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