The hike to the top of laundry mountain began today. I’m not sure whether or not to be optimistic, or terrified. One thing is for sure, I’ve come too far to stop now. Hoping my harness and climbing gear holds out, as I may have to spend the night. I hope for the best that I’ll reach the summit today. Air is thinner up here, and I fear I may be too weak to fend off the attack of the half-manx cat known only to those who brave this mountain, as “Ethel”. She last appeared at the Valley of Underpants only to bite me for no particular reason, but swiftly disappeared afterward in to the Ridge of Socks of Undestined Pairing. It is nearing dark, and smells faintly of horror and slightly-damp dirty dishcloth’s. There was a landslide of bra’s and button-up shirts today, but base camp wasn’t affected. Haven’t called in re-enforcements yet, but it’s getting close.
I’m not a godly woman, but pray for me. Pray hard and light candles so that I might see my way home. Flurries of dryer lint are expected with the outcome of very low visibility.
I had trouble sleeping through the night. With the promise of clean linen still fresh in my mind… not yet folded, and then unfolded to encompass my mattress with the gentle, yet firm resolve that only a steaming hot fitted sheet can offer. It was too much to handle. I’m a patient woman, but I realize that my perilous journey to the top of laundry mountain is truly for the betterment of my soul, and countrymen.
This journey has given me the time to think and reflect on a lot of things. One of them being the realization that, clean fitted sheets are like roommates or new employees. At first they’re fresh, clean, smell good and do exactly what they’re supposed to do.. but then.. they get loose, half the time they need to be readjusted, they start smelling weird, then strange mystery stains, then eventually have to throw them out.. or make a quilt or rug or something… ‘cept if you’re thinking about doing that to a roommate, you’re probably living alone anyway, but I digress.
I’m scared.. and feel myself slipping in and out of delirium. While passing through the rolling hills of Sweater Valley (which is really quite nice this time of year), I stumbled upon a long forgotten relic. A snippet of times past.
My pre-pregnancy pants.
I was flooded with both feelings of tenderness, and, what’s the word I’m looking for… rage? loathing? Either way, I burned them for warmth along with any hope of my muffin top not hovering over the waistband like a buzzard hovering over a dying man.. always hungry for more material.
Longing for tomorrow to be more fruitful… for the nights are dark, and full of static-cling.
I almost froze to death last night. I had to throw in my duvet last evening, and by bedtime, it wasn’t yet dry.
As I raised my eyes to the spackled ceiling sky, I wept. I swore before my embarkment, that I wouldn’t let my quest for cleanliness break me, but my god. There is only so much one human being can take, and I’m now half the woman I was when I left. Some wouldn’t have even lasted this long.. I know this only because I’ve come across many objects of unidentifiable origin. An unpaired shoe, here.. a lamp I’ve never seen, there… once, I even found an entire photo album full of people I didn’t know, next to a box of used potpourri and pens with no ink tubes inside. The last I mention, was discovered under a tumbleweed of used dryer sheets.
I finally gave in to the mountain, opened my arms to the heavens and vent to the bathroom above me, and as a single tear slipped slowly down my cheek, I whispered “you win”. You win laundry mountain… you win.
While giving in to the crushing weight that was my expedition, fraught with danger, a man appeared to me. He said to me, “Cry not, you’ve come too far.. and the tiny one needs clean pajama’s after her bath tonight”. I collapsed in to his welcoming arms, and quickly fell in to a deep, dreamless sleep. When I awoke, I found us to be suspended to the side of a large cliff face near the top on the mountain, in a portaledge. It seems that in my slumber, my new found beefcake sherpa had somehow managed to carry me past the Ravine of Sump Pump, and onward still past the Crest of the Outdoor Faucet Shutoff Valve. My sherpa, whose name I know now is Rain Folds-All-The-Pants, is truly a sight to behold. In one swift movement, he is able to balance 3 full baskets of carefully folded garments stacked one on top of the other quite like nesting dolls, and with the grace of obvious practice, set them down in a place in which they will remain untouched for weeks at a time. He is truly a master. With his help, I know I will reach my goal of homecoming within the next 48 hours.
In capable hands,
I have officially run out of detergent. Although I have but one meager load left to throw in… I can’t in good conscience call it clean if I don’t have any soap to use. For a moment… In a moment of sheer madness and desperation, I considered scraping the sides of the detergent container with a nearby piece of floor trim.. but my ever watchful and faithful sherpa gently placed his hand on my shoulder, looked at me as if to say, “that’s enough… it’s okay”… and has started to lead me through the winding path of power tools and christmas decorations, down the mountain. At first I was in complete denial, I thought maybe if I just used some shampoo or even whittled a bar of hand soap in to the machine, that it would work and I would plant my flag, triumphant and victorious… but as I walk the steep decline, that somehow feels less steep than when I was first climbing it, I’ve come to realize something. The mountain is never ending. My climb will never end, until I drop from exhaustion. There will always be a sweater found behind the dirty laundry hamper that somehow didn’t make it in.. there will never be enough clean dishcloths… and there certainly will never be enough clean underwear or towels. Occasionally a load will be forgotten in the washing machine, and the next time you go down to throw a load on and open the door, you’re probably going to want to barf.. but this is all normal. Nobody will ever make it to the peak of the Laundry Mountain.. because it’s fucking impossible. Quite literally, while you are cleaning your clothing, unless you do your laundry naked, you’re getting clothing dirty as you get other clothing clean. It’s unending. So relax… at least until company’s coming over.
My plans for when we finally arrive to our homeland of Upstairs, are to maybe take it a bit easier on myself for a while.. then maybe dabble in a bit of diving, maybe in the Basin of Unpolished Cutlery. Perhaps I’ll go on an excavation, to see what the ancients have left in the Crevices of Couch Cushions. Who knows.
One thing I do know for sure, is that I’m glad I have my sherpa to bring all the baskets of clean laundry to the room of Not Nearly Enough Closet Space, and to have him stack them all like a crazy old man making a newspaper maze… never to be put away, only to be rifled through like a raccoon through a garbage bag.
Blissfully exhausted in my resolution,