Tuesday, October 30

Washing Machine Waltz

Writing to pass the time because the washing machine. I can hear it now, in the hallway, separated by a closed door — no, two closed doors — can hear it spinning. The dial on the front, which I put my fingers to and turned, indicates that it spins at a rate of 1000 revolutions per minute, but the washing machine knows I won’t count. It’s a new washing machine. The last one died a week ago, a pile of wet dress shirts and water beneath. A man came to install the new washing machine on Saturday, although I never met him. Heaven knows there’s an instruction manual somewhere; I should read it. I won’t, I’m too busy passing the time. There are towels in there: two large towels and two hand towels. Until the washing machine and I have grown accustomed to each other, I’m disinclined to overloading it. Two large towels and two hand towels will be enough. One of the large towels was used extensively by me. It’s green, lime green, I suppose, but faded, reminiscent of hot air and cold tiles. My skin cells were amongst the threads, and my hair wove amongst it too. Foreign hands might lift that towel to foreign noses and they would smell me and that would be a language I do not quite understand. The other towel — navy — was used by someone else for one morning only and I am not so sure it smells of them at all.
It’s too late to check.
When it stops turning I will hang the towels out to dry and they may take a while, being turned occasionally. I miss the smell of my mother’s towels because they also, for a reason I’m not entirely sure of, smell like my niece. ‘You have quite a strong relationship with your mum, don’t you?’ said a friend at work. He was taunting me, so I smiled and said—‘Well, it’s her fault I’m here.’ I imagine that all my skin cells and the hair on my towels will be carried away, far away from where I’ll ever see them again. They ran down the sewer and out to sea. My mother lives by the sea. The washing machine spins at 1000 revolutions per minute so that most of the water drains away and out to sea. It’s still spinning. I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days. That first feel of a dry towel against the shower’s wet red flesh. I hope I get better.
I don’t mind being alone. I like it, mostly. People are such irritating and disappointing creatures. I am struck out of my thoughts by the silence of the washing machine and then—Beep-beep-beep-beeeeeep. The washing machine can count to four, so it can enjoy most forms of contemporary music, but do not ask it to waltz. In a moment, I think, I’ll unload it. I have two-day-old wine in a teacup. The teacup is yellow and it says—MAIN MINION across it. The wine is not so bad. The skin on my hands is dry and it bleeds and the colour is like the wine’s.
The time is passed and the wine is gone and the blood has dried. What a good time to stop.

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