Tuesday, November 28, 2006


whilst folding laundry in my childhood laundrymat
cursing the tardiness that is Sears’ washing machine delivery
I remembered how my mother, for the first fifteen years of my life
dragged the same bags of dirty clothes
and stared at the same machines as the clothes
revolved endlessly

There were reruns on then too
back then it was The Cosby Show
and Cheers
Now it’s old episodes of Friends

I spun around and around too
The sharp smelling metal poles
that inexpicably adorned the room
It is only now that it occurs to me that they are
basically purposeless
Back then they were for spinning around
It was obvious

I loved the laundrymat then- on laundry days
I was allowed to eat a boston cream doughnut
while waiting for the clothes to dry
It is now, mirroring my mother’s actions
I realize it was drudgery for her
Ever pragmatic,
she had nonetheless created the ultimate optical illusion

It occurred to me
while liberally dousing the fourth load in liquid detergent
that three years ago
I was a funny looking white woman
standing on a roof
on top of a mountain
at the furthest point from the earth’s circumfrance
grinding my hands to a fine, bloody powder
washing my clothes in cold water at a concrete sink
and hanging them to dry

Feeling like I was
on top of the world

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