It's not a big problem.
Not actually perceptible at all.
Not in the short term.
OK. Maybe when you fill up the sink with hot water and soap, it seems to take longer than it should to submerge the dirty wine glasses and bowls and silverware. It takes a long time. So long that steam rising from the sink produces enough vapor to gather on nearby glassware, condensing into a water veil.
But eventually the sink does fill, and the soap and the heat start doing their business, breaking it all down. Attacking things that cloud what should be clear, darken what should be bright, dull what should be shiny.
You plunge a sponge into the water--ooooh, that's hot. Too hot. Just barely too hot. Your hands snap back out clutching a dripping, soapy stem, your fingers red as radishes. And you begin to wash.
The phone rings.
You check the ID--no, putting this call off is not an option. It's a friend who really needs to talk. Now.
So you answer.
Clamping the phone tightly between your cheekbone and your shoulder, you rinse that lone glass, grab a towel, dry your hands. Take the conversation to a place more conducive to listening. Open a new pack of cigarettes. Light one.
"Mmm hmmm. Uhm-hmmmm. Yes. I hear you. I understand. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Do you? No. Uhmmm-hmmmm. Oh. Damn. I'm sorry to hear that. Hmmm. Mmmm-hmmm. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know..."
An ashtray full butts later, a sweet milky smoke-haze hovers up around the ceiling.
No mysteries have been solved, no decisions made, no actions planned, no intervention held.
Just a conversation, and that only if you consider your own vocal placeholders to be half of a conversation.
Sometimes you think they are.
You return to the sink.
It is nearly empty. And cold.
A leak--one tiny, imperceptible gap somewhere between an imperfectly formed gasket and/or an irregular drain wall--has allowed the soapy water to escape.
Everything is cold.
Even the sink.
How could this happen so quickly, you wonder. You check the clock. Hm. You were away longer than you'd thought. But still. When you walk away for a short time leaving a sinkful of water, you don't expect to come back to empty.
The dirty, slippery things that had begun to loosen and separate have resettled, merged into a whole new form of scum born from the mixture of formerly segregated soils.
It's a bigger mess than when you started.
You could move everything to the other side of the sink.
Hope it holds water better.
No, for some reason, you don't.
The leak, after all, you reason, is slow. It's small.
This time you'll surely finish before the water disappears.