A slice of real life. A tale of dirty laundry in private. Caring for your clothes
Dramatis Personae. Real life in pictures.
A tale of Dirty Washing.
In this world it is sometimes overlooked how the lives of the truly humble and insignificant fellow travellers that accompany us through this "vale of tears" can have a drama and a poignancy of their own. It is not just you and I that can suffer from the memories of abandoned loves, or the frustrations of ambitions unfulfilled.The trials of real life can afflict even the most humble amongst us.
The great Italian composer Rossini was reputed to be able to set a laundry list to music. I thought, in tribute to the undying genius of the great master, that I ought to try my hand in writing a very short story featuring the contents of a laundry basket.
Read on, and enjoy.
The brown underpants lay back against the side of the laundry basket and sighed.
"Why did I have to be brown" it said to itself .
"Brown is such an uncool colour for a pair of underpants. I never get to work the evening shift. All the other underpants get to be taken out to bars, or nightclubs, when he is on the pull. I only ever get to be worn to work. Grumpliy pulled on after the morning shower, dragged on an overcrowded train, being sat on in a boring office all day; and then the martydom of the return journey, to be just discarded and thrown into this wretched laundry basket until he condecends to do the washing. The worst thing about it is that he can get sweaty, and then have a refreshing shower, but I have to live with his rankening body fluids until it is convenient for him to deal with the problem. Real life, for me is just a constant parade of unsavoury smells and little else".
"You think that your life is bad" said a black sock from just beside him.
"I once had to spend three weeks under his bed with a pair of discarded gym socks. Just thrown there and forgotten we were. Can you imagine how smelly they were. The only thing that saved us is when his mother came round to feed the fish when he was on holiday. She found us. Mothers always do. If it wasnt for her beady eyes, and twitching nose, we would be there still".
The sock started to laugh. "What's so funny"? the brown underpants asked.
"This will make you feel better" the sock said.
"Do you remember that pair of Calvin Kliens that always used to look down on you because you had been bought in a market, and didnt have a "label". Well he was wearing him when he brought that "hot date" back last Christmas holidays. She threw "Calvin"down the back of his bed, and even the mother didn't manage to sniff him out" "You mean to say" the underpants said, "that he is still there. This must be June by now. He will be choked by the fluff. If he does get found now he will probably get torn up and used as dusters. There is some justice in the world after all".
"The "hot date" didnt work out very well either" said a black woooly cap that had so far not contributed to the conversation. "I was with him coming out from work just after New Year. She was going into the bar across from the station, and she was simply wrapped round this other Spanish looking guy."
"That's why she hasnt been here since" the sock said. "Yea, and that is why "Calvin" is mouldering at the back of the bed. Our guy doesnt get many decent dates come into his life, so he wont be needing that pair of underpants again for a while".
From the bottom of the laundry basket, some shouting could be heard. "I know that voice" said the black wooly cap.
"That's the charity shop jumper that he bought last October, when he was broke after his holidays. He is a dreadful bully, that jumper is. He is always trying to smother the rest of the clothes. And he is dead boring as well. He keeps banging on about how he was hanging on a rail with one of Pamela Anderson's bras in the charity shop. It is his "big claim to fame" apparently".
"Dont listen to his lies" said the brown underpants. "Pamela Anderson's bra would never be seen near that idiot. He is only that blue colour because he was dyed to hide an ink stain that was left there by a previous owner who was too mean to throw him out. Pamela Anderson's bra my arse". the underpants snorted derisively.
"I know he bought us, and he washes us" said the sock,"but don't you think that our owner is a bit of a "Saddo"? I mean he never seems to do much, just goes to work, comes home, and then slumps in front of the television till half past ten; then the same performance again the following day".
"It's the fault of that woman" said the underpants, who did have a slightly mysoginistic streak. "They are all heartless creatures. I knew a pair of pink knickers when I was on the market stall. We shared the same box for a while. It was the happiest time of my life; I fell seriously in love with "Patsy Panties", (that was my pet name for her). But then one day I woke up and she was gone. I never saw her again".
A metaphorical tear ran down the flies of the underpants, and again he sighed deeply. "She just left, probably without a thought for me"
"Oh you are an idiot" said the black cap, who was wiser in the ways of the world."She probably had no choice in the matter. Thats what happens when you are a pair of knickers on a market stall. She most likely got bought. If you hadnt been so lazy as to be asleep half the time you could have got to say goodbye to her". His voice softened a bit. "Don't worry my friend. That Knickers probably loved you back just as dearly, but it was not to be. Just think of it fondly as a pleasant interlude in your life. Us garments ought not to form very deep attachments. We never know when we will be dragged apart."
"Thanks mate" the underpants said. "I feel a lot better now".The sock, the underpants, and the black wolly cap sat there for a while in companionable silence.
The door of the flat opened. The owner of the assorted laundry had come home. The contents of the basket perked up immediately.
"Do you think he might do a wash this evening"? said the sock. " He might" said the underpants. "But, knowing my luck, he will only be doing a white one. Us coloureds will have to suffer until another day". The habit of misery seemed to find it very difficult to leave this particular garment.
"Oh shut up" choroused the rest of the laundry contents. "We are fed up listening to you."