“What! Will these hands ne'er be clean?”
— Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, Act V, Scene I


Valiant wanderers and those afflicted with the home-sickness — I welcome thee to my hand-washing guide. I be Lady Macbeth, former Queen of Scotland, murderer of mine own husband's Lord, and also patron saint of hand-washing in anxious times.

If thou believes thy hands cleansed when 20 seconds have tarried, thou art awakening for ill news. My tale bears caution still for I, too, endured tyranny and carry the burden of many deaths.

Three witches doth once lure my husband with their imaginations, thus therefore the CNN doth lull thee to safety that thou mask-less frolicking cannot damage thee. With every moment that the dry-throat symptoms do not arrive, ye spite the plague! Abandon thy mask while eating, abandon thy mask while kissing and abandon thy illusion of healthcare.

Nay, there is no method of hand-washing that cleanses as effectively as one ridden by murderous guilt and performed in the wee hours of the night. I enlist for thee this guide that may soothe thy concerns as moisturizer does upon the well-washed skin.

Step 1

Birth a guilty thought. Mayhaps thou put thy phone to thy face when thou has touched it previously with gloves on and now germs dance upon it. Mayhaps thou counts if war or disease shalt get thee to 300,000 deaths, and if thou shalt start such a cursed war, as I well did. Mayhaps thou shalt push thy husband off his moral slope by proving that murder doth bring forth promotions most effective.

Step 2

Hath thou imagined thyself to be guilty enough for a thorough rub of the soap yet? Nay. Thou must be guiltier. Abate thy loneliness by sharing thy foul deeds among thine friends. I did send a missive to the wife of the Thane of Fife upon the Wives of Scotland forum. She did not attend to my call for weeks, an unkindness I found unbearable. Then, her ghost doth visit me within my dreams upon news that she lay dead. The omens of ghosting indeed strike true.

Step 3

Thou may wonder now, “Ho, Lady Macbeth, is all this murder necessary for hand-washing?” O proper stuff! Wring thy guilt and misery from thy hands now. Begin with a soak under running waters, human tears are of no avail. Apply the lye as if to suppress the vision of blood from thine eyes. Apply it to the fore, apply it to the back and apply it upon thy soul. Forget not the middles of fingers. Do not apply it to thine eyes. Going blind will not remove haunting dreams.

Step 4

Embark upon the scrubbing with utmost vigor, until there is no more blood or until there is blood finally. My husband doth complain that my scrubbing is manic, and yet, he doth imagine entire forests stampeding the castle. With each scrub envision the despairing face of the invisible enemy.

Step 5

If thou did applaud for having completed the previous, then rinse and repeat. Anything that thy cursed hand now touches will consign thee to a fate of endless washing. Apothecaries will no longer possess enough lye to cleanse thy being. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Lay it to thy heart and farewell.

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