The Laundry Basket

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July 20, 2011 by polishsnausage

I was downstairs doing laundry today, and notice the laundry basket. It is a regular, run-of-the-mill basket; four sides, made of dark green plastic with yellow handles and designed for the sole purpose of transporting clothes to and from the washing machine. It has done this job for many, many years, and has seen many, many loads of dirty laundry, and as long as it holds up its side of the agreement, it will continue to do so for many, many more.

However, today, I saw this basket as something different. No longer was it simply a vessel for my t-shirts, jeans, scrub pants and tops, and underpants, but today, I saw it as His. Poor laundry basket, completely unaware to the fact about why I suddenly hated its guts, then got teary-eyed as I put a fresh-from-the-dryer mass of clothes into it.

I had a flash of tens years blaze through my mind…going to visit Him while we were dating and he was living with his mother and sister. He stayed in the basement among the washer and dryer, and this basket would always be full of unfolded clothes, and He would never be sure if they were clean or dirty, so the inevitable “sniff test” would decide if they were wearable, or whether He would toss them back into the same basket, therefore defeating the purpose and cementing His fate of forever smelling his clothes for freshness…

…us packing up our belongings the day after we got married and starting a new life together in the town which we still both live. He filled the basket with His comic book action figures and other items, and stuffed all His clothes into trash bags. I gave Him such a hard time about that, to which He just smiled a gap-toothed grin and kissed His new bride on the cheek…

…hauling all of our dirty clothes from our tiny one-bedroom apartment to my mother’s house to do laundry, since we were too poor to take them to a laundromat…

…moving countless times over the course of four years, this time, the basket held its name-sake as we tiredly lugged our belongings into our new apartments…

…one goofy afternoon, it served as a make-shift sled as we took turns pushing and pulling each other down the carpeted hallway of our apartment…

Then, last summer, it was used to hold the things He left behind when He moved out in a hurry. The basket sat in the living room until He could come and retrieve the items He didn’t think about grabbing in July–snow boots, parka, gloves, and a few dvd’s He skipped over. I could not walk pass the basket without wanting to light the damned thing on fire, watching His belongings burn. Finally, He came and got his stuff, and returned the basket, which I thought was odd considering it is His basket, but He had taken two others when he moved, so I was begrudgingly grateful to have it.

Except for today. Today was not a good day to be that basket, and I apologized to the basket, saying, “it’s not you–it’s me.”

I think we came to a mutual understanding that while it is just a laundry basket, it holds not only clothes for me, but also memories.

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