She oils the wooden counter. For this, she uses a viscous hybrid oil
that she orders from Denmark. It's a job she's attended to—daily at
first, now monthly—for almost a year: layer over
layer, each one taking twenty four hours to dry, the room rendered
unusable. Ensure the area is well
She pours the oil onto the soap-clean surface, and works it in with her
bare hands, as if it were a Kobe beef cow. Her fingers push and pull in
circular motions, until no one could claim she'd missed a bit.
When the wood has sucked up all it can, she will work it to a luster
with the silk camisole that, in the dim distant, was the conceit of her
Eryl Shields lives in southwest Scotland.
Read her postcard.
Detail of sketch on main page courtesy
of Eric Stensland Smith.
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