noun 1: a little world; especially : the human race or human nature seen as an epitome of the world or the universe
2: a community or other unity that is an epitome of a larger unity

Starting last Friday, my kitchen has been on a slow, minor meltdown. That morning, I was working on the dishes and I felt a rush of water at my feet. Looking down, I saw water pouring out from the kitchen cabinet; it seeped along the already warping linoleum tiles, threatening the hallway’s hardwood floors. I quickly ran for towels and after sopping up the mess, I opened the cabinet door to investigate. A pipe, running perpendicular from the actual drain was dripping smugly. Several dozen paper towels later, I got things under control within the cabinet and resumed my stance at the sink. Then I turned on the faucet and did it all over again.

Thankfully, I was heading out for the weekend and thought that almost 48 hours without h20 would leave the sink dry and good to go. Any clogs might evaporate or decompose (ewww) and worse comes to worse I’d pick up a bottle of DrainO and conquer the unruly pipe.

Well, Monday was a crazy day. And, my fitness trainer gave me one hell of a talking to, which more or less meant that if I didn’t get on the treadmill everyday for the next five weeks, I would end up wasting a significant amount of money and end up loosing a measly number of pounds. After that, I didn’t feel much like DrainO.

But I did end up making a Pyrex casserole dish of chicken, a batch of sauteed broccoli and brussel sprouts and a pot of rice. Then I used a plate to dish up my dinner, and a fork, and a knife. There were a few serving spoons involved and colander. I had a “sink full” of dishes with no sink to wash in.

I had two options. The first, the bathroom sink is about as shallow as one of those seashells you find on the beach. So, I turned on the hot water in the bathtub and went to work. I bent awkwardly over the faucet and soaped up pot, and pan, and knife, and fork and impatiently waited until all traces of soap were gone from their surfaces. After rinsing each piece I ran back to the kitchen to deposit it into the drying rack, as if I was on Nickelodeon’s Gag or Guts or whatever show it was that made fools out of the willing.

Tuesday, after a sushi dinner, I stopped at Duane Reade and found the DrainO. The last bottle. Dumping it down the faucet, I fixated my gaze on the drain that was bound to spurt. It didn’t. But an hour later it did. This time with the stench of poisonous chemicals that probably shouldn’t be going down drains in the first place. Papertowels back in hand, I was back in the microcosm of my kitchen cabinet, sopping up water and chemicals and rust. I waited for five minutes and turned on the hot water, in the gentlest of streams. It trickled and twirled down the sink and, for what seemed like ten minutes, there was no drip from the unruly drain. As long as the faucet wasn’t on full force, it seemed as if, for now, the gremlins of the drain would be kept at bay.