I wake up early this morning and have a sense of inner calm, which is good seeing how my day has been anything but that. I shuffle into the living room to grab my tennis shoes so I can take the dog outside. I switch on a light and look over at my green recliner, the one I use when I drink my coffee, write and read my book. Smooshed into the cushion and covering almost half of it is a big glob of cat puke. “Awesome,” I mutter and grab some paper towels as my dog is barking at me and begging me to take him outside.
Once back in, I spray stain remover on the cushion and feed my dog and cat and pour the hot water into my French press for my morning coffee. I grab a sponge and clean off the chair as best as possible. Suddenly, I hear a retching sound and watch as my cat throws up again near my feet. I sigh and turn around to grab more paper towels and have to yell at my dog who is getting too curious with the cat hack. I clean that up and fix myself breakfast and a cup of coffee and set everything on the end table. Looking down, I notice there is what looks to be a piece of a granola bar wrapper on the floor from yesterday’s breakfast. I reach down to pick it up and come up with a smear of cat puke on my fingers. I clean that up and finally sit down to drink a lukewarm cup of coffee and read my book.
Awhile later, I hear rustling from the laundry room and look around. My dog is nowhere in sight. I know he has moved the litter box again and found himself a tasty breakfast morsel that is not on the menu. I know I’ll have to clean that up, but I choose to do yoga and prepare for my day. Wearing my tight spandex yoga clothes, I unroll my mat and start doing a “sexy” butt wiggle practice, channeling my inner goddess and laughing at the mundane yet gross start to my day. I shimmy my hips and dance and breathe and do core bicycle work and sweat and breathe and shimmy my hips some more before I end with relaxation pose and sit in a deep meditation. I am ready for whatever my day hands me, and somehow I know that it will not be the type of day where I get to go out with friends and dress up and look pretty. But, I still feel the need to connect to that inner sexy goddess that has been begging to be recognized for awhile now.
My sexy morning continues with the cleanup of said litter box, which includes a thorough suctioning with the vacuum hose of the entire laundry room because my dog isn’t the neatest when he goes on a cat turd raid. I rationalize that the cleaning shouldn’t stop there and I vacuum and sweep and do dishes and organize the clutter in the usual drop spots. I reward myself with a hot shower and feel confident that my day is about to begin and something fun and interesting will arise. I decide that today would be a good day to blow dry and straighten my thick, curly, wild woman hair, but tell myself that I should also throw in a load of laundry while I work on my uncontrollable brown locks.
Midway through my styling session, I hear the washing machine go “thunk,” and then it doesn’t progress to the rinse cycle nor drain any of the soapy water. I investigate and even stick my hand down in the warm soapy suds and feel around to make sure no clothes are stopping up the flow of water. I reset the rinse cycle again and the washing machine starts up. “Awesome,” I say and go back to running the straightening iron through small sections of my hair. “Thunk,” goes the washing machine and the rinse cycle stops. I walk back in and repeat the process and start the machine up again. This happens 3 more times and I finally admit defeat. I have a broken washing machine and a load of my delicates floating around in warm, soapy water.
I call my dad, frustrated at the fact that I am going to have to spend some money at some point to get this damn thing fixed or replaced. Dad tells me not to call a repairman on a weekend or I’ll have to spend a lot of money then. Instead, he tells me to take a bowl and scoop out the water and dump it into the laundry sink next to the washer. “Awesome,” I say and start looking for a bowl (after I finish straightening my hair and getting dressed in cute capri pants and a sexy little summer top).
I look and smell pretty and I am standing in front of my washing machine with a tupperware bowl that fits down into the basin, but cannot be pulled out without angling it and spilling out all the water. “How is this going to work?” I ask myself. Then it hits me: I’ll just ladle the water out of the basin, put it into the bowl and dump the bowl into the sink until it’s empty. This won’t take long. I squeeze out each piece of clothing and toss them into the dryer for a half an hour. Then, I begin scooping out water with the ladle in my left hand, and dumping it into the bowl with my right, and then pouring it into the sink. A rhythm sets in. So does my OCD and before I know it I’m counting out 10 ladle scoops of water into the bowl and counting how many times I pour the bowl into the sink. “Scoop 1. . .2. . .3. . .4. . .5. . .6. . .7. . .8. . .9. . .10. Pour 1.” 50 times. And I’m in sort of a trance as the dryer whirrs next to me and the counting, scooping, pouring continues. I would’ve kept going on ad infinitum but my cell phone rings and it’s my dad asking me if I’ve checked the circuit breakers and can I get behind and see if the hoses are completely connected. I’m a little miffed that he’s broken my rhythm and I say, “I don’t know. I’m not gonna check that crap. It’s broken. I’m not going to fix it.”
He says, “Yeah, probably not the circuit breakers. Just keep using a bowl to dump out the water.” I told him I was using a ladle to dump it into the bowl and he got quiet and said, “Why not use one of your big cups to pour into the bowl. It will go a lot faster.” It’s been almost an hour and I’m only at the halfway mark of the basin. “Awesome,” I say to him and mentally kick myself for not thinking of a faster solution. I grab a 32 oz plastic cup my mom has collected and kept at my house for years. Immediately I see results and the basin empties in less than 20 minutes. The downside is that I am no longer in a zen state and realize that I do miss the elegance of the ladle, the bowl and the counting. That moment has passed however and by now it’s past lunch time and I’m hungry and want some of that guacamole I made earlier.
I go into my bathroom to freshen up and see that my straightened hair is in disarray, I have a new zit on the side of my mouth and my hands are cracked and irritated from being in soapy water for almost 2 hours now. I clean up, eat some of that guacamole and feel better. I debate whether I should eat one of the juicy peaches I bought at the grocery store yesterday. “Later,” I tell myself and resolve to get my soggy loads of laundry finished before the evening is over.
I load up the laundry, making sure my underwear and bras are stashed down at the bottom. As I pull out of the garage, thunder and lightning fill the sky. I decide to keep going and get a $20 from the bank ATM. I pull up at Jessica’s Coin Laundromat and watch as a jagged line of lightning pierces the sky. I dash inside and feel the blow fans inside toss my “straightened” hair over my face and every which way. “Awesome,” I say and let out a sigh. I am hoping that they have a big change machine that gives out dollar bills at least and another small one that gives out coins. No such luck. I stick the $20 in the coin machine and laugh as the quarters come tumbling out. I stash them in my billfold and when that fills up, I toss them into a hidden pouch inside my purse and add a few to my pockets. I look around and see that “The Honeymooners” TV show is blaring on the TV screen above me and Ralph is yelling at Alice because she screwed something up to ruin their momentary domestic bliss. I laugh with Alice as she gets the best of Ralph: “Hardy har har, Ralph”. I walk over to the row of plastic chairs and pray that a torrential downpour doesn’t begin as I’m walking to my car with my clean, dry clothes.
My clothes are dry and thank God my sexy lingerie are intact (if you call polka dotted underwear and yoga pants sexy). The fans in the laundromat mix with the outside breeze of the storm that passed overhead. I stand in front of one of the big blower fans and fold my delicates as the generated wind tosses my hair over my face and all over the place. The sun is shining and my purse is heavy with silver coins. I shimmy my hips a little bit and pretend for a split second I’m Cindy Crawford in one of her famous Pepsi commercials. I laugh and walk outside with my bundle of clothes and dream of the juicy peach I’m going to eat while I lie naked in my bed and reign over my world like the domestic goddess I am.
Day 55 of 100 Day Creative Writing Challenge: Calm