The Human Stain


Some stains are harder to remove. It is very annoying on a newly bought item of clothing. Usually a new  blouse, relatively expensive in pale Italian blue linen. A current favourite part of a limited go to wardrobe. 

The coffee is drank without drama. The coleslaw in the sandwich is a near miss and hits the floor. That feet back head forward reflex stain saving manoeuvre saves the afternoon.

I feel accomplished. No stains and it is already 1.45pm. I feel emboldened, confident. I am secure in my stain avoiding strategies.  I am so in control. Ain’t no stains on me. 

Lately, human interactions have been having the stain effect too. That Italian blue linen blouse equivalent of a good mood. That, ‘at last spring,’ new hope of a ruse. That, ‘future is brighter now,’ illusion. Alright, maybe this time it is not even an illusion, a white lie? Yes. A white lie. The Santa Claus is real kind of white lie on Christmas Eve. Then wham, a so called friend says the most hurtful thing;

“I don’t want to waste my time with you.”

And there’s an audible ink stain the size of Australia on my blue Italian linen good mood.

I am leaving out the context of the rest of the words exchanged, simply because it was this specific sentence that stained my mood. Stained my feelings of friendship that I had for him and stained my attitude towards him forever.

The human stain.

The chicken tikka masala sauce stain. That ruins friendships.  Ruins clothes. It never comes out and is set in industrial strength take away oil. Oil stains can not be removed and sadly, attempts to do so usually cause more damage to the garment. Further staining. Further chemicals, which themselves stain or irreversibly change the fabric. Wear and tear of rubbing and scrubbing to remove the oil and the red masala sauce.

I think of Brexit, an irreversible staining, by a currently misguided electorate, who seem not to understand the complex and delicate mechanisms whereupon the very destiny of human lives are decided. 

Brexit is so much worse than Tikka Masala staining, but that I feel, is outside of the remit of this blog.

I too in recent times have said words that can not be recanted. I too have stained friends’ opinions of me with words they did not want to hear. In no way do I exclude myself from the inevitability of human staining.

Words can be black ink on pale blue linen too. Words go both ways. Words linger. 

I love my pale blue Italian linen blouse and I also love my pale blue Italian linen good mood.

It has been a very long time since I have been able to match an outfit with my mood with such pastel positivity.

So you, with your human stains, keep ’em machine washable and I shall endeavour to afford you the same courtesy. 

If you insist on doing the staining remember it will change the garment forever and ruin the outfit and at the moment, pale blue Italian linen is my favourite. 

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