My kimono with its Natori Classics label showing.

No, I said to myself in admonishment. I was attempting to wash the dishes in my kimono, and of course the sleeves were getting wet and in the way. No, do NOT wear a kimono whilst doing housework! Don’t you understand that a kimono is for relaxing??? People like you shouldn’t be allowed to even have a kimono. I was tough but fair.

For the past week I have been living in a big empty house belonging to a client. I’m not working. They just invited me to stay, as I continue to convalesce, and this has done wonders for my mental health so far. As I write this the sun is coming out and shining brilliantly on the garden deck. I’m not being messy; rather, I clean obsessively out of gratitude. But I have to keep reminding myself, sternly, that I’m NOT at work (unless you count my creative work, which has been a joy to resume lately). The kimono, just the sight of it sometimes, helps remind me. Remember in ANNIE (1982) when she gets to the Warbucks mansion and, asked what she’d like to do first, says, like, “Um, I guess I’ll start with the windows, then I can do the floors…” and they all laugh at her? It feels weird not to be working, by which I mean laboring.

This kimono is one of my favorite garments. I found it in brand-new condition at Beacon’s Closet two or three years ago, with tags still on it. It’s a large-size men’s kimono and was much too long for me, so I had it altered at Jerri’s Cleaners on Sixth Avenue and they did such a quick, beautiful job! The sleeves are wide, comically so. You really CANNOT do dishes while wearing it.

I wonder when they will finish that house on 11th Street (front entrance is on 10th).

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