You wash a counter according to the principles: multiple passes with soap in the wash phase; multiple passes without soap in the rinse phase; wringing the sponge each pass of the rinse phase. You  are sure any grime, anything tacky, is completely removed, so that it won’t break loose and smear. You employ patience. Yet it doesn’t matter. Try to walk away, it will bring you back. The light catches it. Or your mind holds it as a question and has you return to inspect just once more, to find it. 

What color is your counter? Do you vary the pressure that you apply? Do you experiment with vinegar? Do you use timeblocks to contain your concern? Do you remember the craze of those green faux-marble counters in the nineties?

Islands were popular in the nineties. Have you ever tried to wash a countertop that extended significantly beyond its base? It flexes. You wonder how much. How many times before it breaks? If something can break eventually, does it break a little bit all the times it flexes before that? Or is there some threshold pressure that must be met, and below that it can warp forever?

Walking past a stack of firewood, it occurs to you that if it ever falls, it is either in the process now, or will its stillness will have been disrupted.

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