There's a load of laundry in our dryer that has been there for two days. I haven’t even checked to see if the towels and washcloths got wound up in the king sized sheets, so it’s quite possible it’s Code Rewash waiting to be discovered. Two days of wet cannon balls in the bed sheets can really smell just awful.
It’s a small thing, I admit. One task left partially undone. Wah, wah, cue the angels. There are others tasks forgotten and neglected though, scattered all over the house. Breadcrumbs of chaos leading to a familiar place where it all comes together and falls apart at the same time. It has me frozen. Where on Earth do I start?
A little background first. I’m cut out for a factory job. I can handle exactly one thing at one time, and it consumes me. Tightening widgets would have been just my thing had I not been catalyzed into unnatural productivity, spurred by memories of poverty and the realities of overwhelming college debt. But a duck still wants to quack like a duck, and I’m borderline freaking out now, because my carefully constructed habitat is in flux with the new juggling of back to work and home and not running and eating too much shit and trying to answer mail and pay bills and remember to put the milk away before I run out the door in the morning. Sweet Jehovah, I can’t remember the last time I flossed, and it’s really starting to burn a hole into my stomach lining just thinking about it.
Linens and coping deficiencies aside for a moment. Lately I’ve been reading and wondering a lot about intuition. Feeling the future, developing our different ways of knowing rather than stuffing it down with food or drink or pharmaceuticals. So if I use this little freakout swirly-swirl that I’m in right now as on object lesson, what if this heart thumping, ceiling staring, restless period that crashes over me isn’t a handicap? What if it’s my own little The Color Purple version of “God is Trying to Tell You Something”? It’s always scared the shit out of me, made me run and hide and drop what I’m doing. Go underground. Fly south for the winter, whatever. But what if it’s really a gift, and what I’m supposed to be doing is poking my head OUT instead of in? Maybe it’s a shift in the breeze, opportunity beckoning, the gates are about to open, don’t leave now or you’ll miss the best part. Maybe the fates have my number, and I still haven’t learned to answer the phone.
Or, maybe I could just be all sorts of effed up.
So what does all of this have to do with dirty laundry? Here’s the deal. Laundry is my THING. It wasn’t my mother’s thing. It was her un-thing. Which is exactly why it’s MY thing. She would let it pile up in great mountain ranges in our sometimes wet basement. And when she did do it, she would fashion intricate sculptures of wet and dry tangled masses -- on the tops of the washer, dryer, couches, chairs. I learned from a young age that pulling up the stepstool and doing my own laundry, start to finish, meant I would have clean skivvies the next day. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t. I can’t stand searching for socks in piles, trying to find a mate while you’re late for school, or work, or the dentist, or whatever. And yes, I’m always late anyway. But my underwear is clean and my socks match thank you very much.
The gist is that I don’t let laundry pile up when the life machine is working even half-ass properly. So when the laundry IS piling up, there’s mischief afoot. It’s a harbinger of doom. Karmic disarray, the Juli equivalent of standing in the middle of the forest and watching the animals all run in frantic life-saving desperation in the opposite direction I’m moving.
A moment to reflect.
I know what this all means. I see the bright white light of my self-exploration. I need to get off my tired ass and head down right now. Face the waiting state of whatever it is I’ve been ignoring. Untangle the twists and knots of my no-iron percale. Maybe I’ll find it’s not so bad after all. Maybe the laundry isn’t a huge wet starting-to-mold mess, and it’s just patiently waiting to be dried and folded, still smelling faintly of lavender and vanilla. Wouldn’t that be nice? Then we’d both be redeemed.