I pushed the lever on the handle of the utility knife with my right thumb. The handle’s hidden razor, a new one made of polished carbon steel, slid forward in response, emitting a satisfying “click” when it locked. From here on, I told myself, I’ll have to exercise care. One careless move and the supreme sharpness of that gleaming blade could slice deep into my flesh, severing vessels and arteries and tendons. At best, such a mistake would be painful and messy; at worst, it could be the last mistake I ever made.
Rubber pads made the task of kneeling a little less painful, but putting the full weight of my upper body on them reminded me of the abuse I had heaped on my knees over the years. I grimaced as I reached down and pulled the knife toward me, making the first long slice.
I knew pulling the razor toward me held some danger, but I could see the position of the blade that way; I could not see it if I pushed it away from me. For the next hour, I sliced long, straight lines into the soft, white membrane, then peeled it up with my left hand. Finally, I finished the first part of the unpleasant task.
The silicone caulk, with its embedded mold, was gone. The intersection between the walls and the floor of the shower was empty, leaving a clean surface ready to take a new bead of white silicone.
That’s how I spent my afternoon yesterday. Today, after having given the shower plenty of time to dry (and using the shower in the guest bath in the interim), I will place that bead of white silicone.