what becomes of dirty laundry
By Stef LePape
22 Apr 2007
Clothing hung outdoors does something to me.
It brings me back to my youth, both in urban and country settings.
It incites memories and envy. Envy, because of all the domestic activities that must be done this one I'd do without that hesitant attitude of "argh...its got to be done."
Its an activity that rouses the senses in participation.
Your hand clutches a moist item and the humidity allows your sense of touch to respond.
You begin by shaking fibers of ones personal garb inhaling that fresh clean scent of renewal. Your olfactory senses are not satisfied with that...your face demands a an introduction and the coolness placed as a mask refreshes you.
As each item brings back a memory you examine it to see whether or not its still in good shape.
You enter the bag of wooden clips, thereafter elongating your reach to place this shielding garb just so and securing it on a thin line to have the sun bleach and dry it.
Once you've reached the end of the line you assess the amount left in your basket. You step back to watch the wind snap items to and fro and your allow your brain to take a rest and meandering beyond here and now.
Now if your hanging your belonging in a country setting there's no comparison to the same procedure in a city.
Where as in the country you can twirl yourself around sheets and hide between the layers, in the city you witness all from an aerial perspective and can only watch as each dances come a breeze.
While in the country any none intentional entanglement can be easily extricated by approach. In the city you have to perform aerobatic pursuits, or hope the wind will be your friend and not further encourage difficulties.
In the country you hear the birds song and smell the flora fields. In the city you leave things to chance and sniff the meals of your neighbors.
I find it ironic how uninhibited urban folks can be when it comes to baring their clothing of all layers. The same folks who'll pass you by as a stranger. Even if you've seen all their personal items from torn underwear to still dirty sheets.
Of course in the country side...the birds and bees have other things to pay attention to...so peering eyes of neighbors isn't an issue.
In conclusion, my journey is the heavy load to the local Laundromat where everyone and their mothers, uncles etc wash their clothing. Where their scent still occupies the machines, where you throw everything into a bag to further your business just so you can avoid a roach entering your nicely folded goods. And once home you find not the sweet scent of lilac but some chemical residue from the dryer.
So to appease my want of a line I am drawn to the imagery it invites and my lenses is a participant in this expedition.