I loved to find myself curled next to him. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, ooh, it was the best feeling ever. The truth is, we come from two different worlds, but when we touch, it’s like magic. He’s black. I’m white. He’s long and lean. I’m short and a bit fluffy, you might say. He’s upscale, immersed in the world of business, stuck in stuffy conference rooms or behind a desk in a tiny office, uncomfortably confined and restrained. I admire him, though. He does his job and he does it well.
I, on the other hand, have much more freedom and room to breathe. Even though I’m more what you might call working class, I stay active. I’m constantly on the move. There are days where I hit the ground running and I just don’t stop.
I like to think what we have in common outweighs our differences. I mean, here we are, thrown together again. Most of me is on top of him, as a matter of fact. That’s just where I landed. But he doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he hasn’t moved a muscle, even with my weight nudging uncomfortably into his. That’s one of the things I love about him. He accommodates me no matter what.
The rumbling beneath us is constant and almost comforting, sending heat our way, warming us from the outside in. I’d like to cuddle closer, but I’m so languid now I can hardly move. So I stay where I am and treasure our time together.
I don’t think he knows that when we’re apart, I fantasize about him. I live for these haphazard moments when we’re thrown together, his warmth against mine. It doesn’t last. Not the heat. Not us together. Soon, I know we’ll be torn apart. He’ll go his way, off with the one he belongs with, the one he’s committed to. They’re a match. He and I are not. I know that, but each time he’s wrenched away from me, the pain is the same.
I, too, belong to another. The place we reside is dark and we’re surrounded by others like us. The light shines only for a brief time each day into our bleak world. It’s the same for him.
I wonder if he longs for me during those times we’re apart. He’s never said and I certainly can’t ask him. I like to believe he feels as I do, that in another time, another place, perhaps some day soon, we’ll escape the confines of this world and we’ll be together forever.
I hear the clank of the door beneath us. The rumbling stops. Sounds of activity and busy efficiency follow. Dread builds inside me. Does he sense my tension? Is he afraid? I can’t tell. I only know my own sense of panic, my fear that soon we’ll be torn apart again, returned to our dark places, separate, surrounded but alone.
I cringe as the air around me is disturbed. I shrink even further against him trying to protect him, to shield myself, but it’s too late. He’s wrenched away, right out from under me as if he weighed almost nothing. He doesn’t make a sound, but goes quietly as if he knows his fate is already sealed. I watch as he’s efficiently rolled inside another just like himself. He disappears. I cry out but he doesn’t hear me.
And then it’s my turn. I want to fight against the forces greater than myself. I want to plead and beg for my freedom and for his. The thoughts careen around wildly in my head. Please just let us be together. Please.
But it isn’t going to happen. I know that. I’m lifted, rolled, smothered by my previously absent mate, my cry for freedom muffled.
Then I’m falling, falling, back into the darkness. Even the cushion of others like me are no comfort. There’s a slight rocking motion. The light fades and then extinguishes completely.
I huddle inside myself, surrounded by my twin. I can barely breathe, but I settle and I wait. Because hope never dies. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But I know I’ll see him again. One day. Because we’re both part of the never-ending cycle known as laundry.
©2010 by Barbara Meyers
Is it good that I had to re-read this to understand what it was about? Very clever!
I hope it wasn’t too confusing. I thought if a reader didn’t get it before, they’d get it when they read the end about the laundry cycle.
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