Laundry, The act of

I commit to the act of laundry once a week. Sometimes twice. Along with my clothes, I wash the sheets. Too much dust settles on those, on the side of the bed that is not mine, and is mostly left un-slept upon. You know, how the week moves, one day on top of the other. Pretty exact mirror images, you can't make out a Thursday from a Tuesday. They all end with solo dinner bowls on my belly. Watching sitcoms with a haze of excess color, inside my mind asking, why are they all drinking so many beverages, juices, milk, coffee and more juices, milk and coffee. Don't they get enough?

Anyway, back to laundry. Laundry is a serious commitment. It's what makes a home; for me at least, for the kind who are perennially stuck in between uprooting themselves and binding themselves back again. I am never sure of the scoops of detergent one is supposed to add, some of my clothes smell like Surf Excel, sometimes, because I add too much, probably subconsciously, probably because detergent reminds me of my mother. It takes away the nausea of daily life. I dry my semi-wet, semi-dry clothes in the quaint Saturday morning sun, or sometimes in the still darkness of Thursday nights.

Later I dump them all on my bed, making a mountain of it. They lay there that way, and I wear out of the pile, until my mind changes and I plan on folding them and you know, putting them away, where they rightfully belong. In the wardrobe, where the other washed and folded clothes be. Waiting to be worn, washed, dried, folded and kept.

I fold my towels first, always begin with towels. I fold them and stack them on the shelf in the cabinet, next to the albums of photos I would never click. Non existent photo albums of pasts that weren't. Moments that weren't lived, hopes that were given up before they were due.

Next, I fold my underwear. I fold them in triangles. And squares. I keep them next to the baby clothes of my imaginary son. The soft and cuddly creature around whom my life revolves, and the one who always giggles and vomits cutely. The one who pulls into disarray my hair and is learning his first words, all in imagination, of course.

Then I attempt to fold my daily wear clothes. Shorts and t-shirts I have been wearing for years and years. Some of them have lasted, of course, some have holes though and have lost all their color having been washed hundreds of times. But I keep them because they are the repository of my past, the real one, the one that exactly happened. But the one, that I am slowly losing track of, thanks to my unconscious mixing of my realities and my wildest fancies.

Finally I fold the ones I wear to work. Those are the clothes that have me for the whole entire days. They must have soaked in particles of my body in between their fiber. Mostly, I wear colors of the earth. Dark hues that almost merge with my skin. Some are tight and my body bulges out of those, my thighs through slits and saggy breasts. My ageing face with the charm lost, exhausted eyes. I stare at the pile of neatly folded work clothes and see everything that I have lost, everything that I am losing now, everything that I am going to lose in the future. And I also think, would someone love me in them. 

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