6 Domesticity

Why would anyone not put their milk in the fridge? Is this a male thing; do men, as a rule, not put their milk back in the fridge, whence clearly it came from? It bothers me.

Maxl drinks green milk, semi-skimmed. I don’t see the point of anything semi, let alone -skimmed; the green cap is not for me. I abhor the idea of milk that is skimmed of its fat of its taste of its goodness of its milky nature, as I abhor decaffeinated coffee, artificial sweetener and non-alcoholic beer. They are, as far as I’m concerned, abominations. They are, if not abominations, man-made oxymora. They are the kind of contradiction in terms that I, at the risk of sounding judgmental, find wholly unnecessary. And necessarily unholy…

Maxl pours over his muesli green milk, it actually looks green, the colour is all wrong. It looks wrong it feels wrong it sounds wrong. The word ‘semi’ sounds wrong, as does the word ‘skimmed’.

Maxl pours green milk over his muesli and then leaves the milk out of the fridge for the rest of the day. Although it bothers me, I don’t strictly mind, as it’s his milk, and being green it probably won’t go off as it’s basically waterlike cow juice that has nothing good about it. This milk is no cheese in the making. Also, I’m hardly someone who uses his kitchen in a sanctified manner. I am no chef. Things lying or standing about in my kitchen are generally not in my way.

I don’t mind, but it bothers me, and I wonder what makes a man leave his milk out of the fridge: is it an innate desire, a need to mark your territory with some liquid, signalling your existence?

I’ve never known a woman to leave out her milk; women know how precious milk is, they don’t care for milk that turns yellow and rancid. Men don’t mind yellow and rancid, it’s part of their being.

Maxl leaves his milk out and sometimes, too, his salami. I read nothing into this, I just note it and wonder: what is it that makes men leave their milk out, and, occasionally, their salami. That is all. That, and the fact that it bothers me. That fact bothers me in turn, as I like to think of myself as the kind of person who would not be bothered by anything near so trivial. Does it mess with my sense of territory after all? Or with my sense of order? Or my sense of propriety? It may be the fact alone that it’s green milk, not real milk, that he leaves out of my fridge: I probably deep down feel that my kitchen is being sullied by the presence of fake, pretend milk. Perhaps, even though rationally I know it has absolutely no meaning, it deep down offends me. The way it offends me, deep down, when I find in my fridge bottles of Coca-Cola left by house guests, although they invariably turn out to be useful, as Coke is an excellent liquid for clearing the drain.

I resolve to leave things be as they are and not trouble too much about matters so insignificant such as these. At least, I think, I don’t have to put up with this kind of behaviour for any length of time and I certainly don’t have to own it: we are not in a relationship, we are not cohabiters, we are not even flatmates: he is a guest and the law of hospitality stipulates that he can do with his milk – the top any colour of his choosing – whatever he likes, for as long as he likes, just as long as he doesn’t expect me to endorse or approve it. Which clearly he doesn’t: he’s completely oblivious to absolutely any of this, and he doesn’t even notice if I put his milk back where I think – inadequate and green though it be – it belongs: in the fridge.

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