Saturday, July 27, 2013

I stand here folding laundry.

...I'm actually sitting: I'm sitting in a pile of clean laundry in the basement at 2:37 AM, listening to music, drinking a Corona, and folding laundry--except I'm not folding and typing simultaneously. That would take some super-power skills I could only dream of.  Pathetic.  I dream of being able to do something I want to do and folding laundry at the same time?  Yes.  Yes I do.  That dream will certainly fester like a sore. Pathetic, I say!  I always have so much laundry to do, though, you see...  And laundry doesn't just get done, and go away.  It keeps burying me--might as well be falling from the sky, plopping directly on my head.

Every once in awhile, I rebel and don't do it.  I sometimes wish really hard that I won't have to wash 10 towels again today. It doesn't work.  I see towels dragged out of the neatly rolled stacks in the cabinet, onto the floor to wipe up water splashed out of the tub by the twins, or used to wipe hands or a nose and then left there on the floor.  I see a wet towel left on the bed or floor after Sam leaves for work.  I wonder why they do this to me?  Why?  Why don't you care that I hate seeing a new basket of dirty fucking laundry every day?

I'm tired.
Tillie Olsen wrote about standing and ironing, while thinking about her failures as a mother, and wishing she had more wisdom when she was younger... The wisdom of motherhood.  I am paralyzed, sometimes, by my failures as a mother and wife. Laundry seems to represent this. And, I clearly remember Mama ironing as she dreamed a dream deferred in A Raisin in the Sun.  Is laundry equivalent to shackles of "responsible" wives, mothers, women?

Oh, it's kind-of funny.  I don't talk about laundry in conversation, or complain about it verbally anymore.  It doesn't matter. Because I know that what I say goes in one ear and out the other, of everyone in my house...  No, it doesn't even go in an ear.  It's never heard.  I wonder if they even see my lips moving.  

Part of who I am is ever so slightly invisible, and I will be for the rest of my life.  I know that.  Freshly cleaned towels will dry hands once, slip off the towel ring onto the floor, and be in my basket in about 8 hours.  I know that I can write to no one, and feel like maybe someone is listening.  I know Sam often doesn't read what I write.  He forgets.  If anyone even reads this, I know I lost those readers with my third sentence.  Blah.  "What is this shit about?  Laundry?  I don't care about laundry."

I'm forgettable.  I'm forgettable.  I'm forgettable.  I'm forgettable. A forgettable failure?

When I was in high school, I was one of the girls that wasn't forgettable.  I'm not bragging.  It's not something I'm proud of.  I would rather have people say, "Weren't you Valedictorian?"  I wanted to be Anne of Green Gables.  I remember she asked Matthew, as they rode from the train station to meet Marilla for the first time, "Would you rather be dazzlingly clever, angelically good, or divinely beautiful?"  I'm not remembered for being dazzlingly clever or angelically good.  When do we become so forgettable?  Marriage?  Motherhood?  Do some women live their lives being completely unforgettable?  Nat King Cole sang that song to someone, I think.  He sounded sincere.

But, It's 3:07 AM, and I'm just glad I'm sitting on laundry.  I've been here before, alone in the basement--no one realizing I was missing--crying and laying on the pile of laundry.  This time, I guess I'm just glad it's clean laundry.

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