It is barely evening, the hush of new darkness spilling in the windows and lightly touching each framed picture on the living room wall, masking the faces into featureless, familiar blobs. I am in the laundry room, lights off, switching the clothes from washer to dryer, fingers pruny from damp shirts and pants and socks. Savoring the hidden, enclosed feeling I get from being wedged into this space between two giant, pulsing machines. I could crouch down right here behind the washer and nobody would find me until I wanted to be found. I could fall asleep here next to the warm, humming toss of the dryer, cross-legged on the slick, gold and green patterned floor. I bend my knees and lower myself to the cool linoleum, just trying it out, wanting to stretch this moment into the rest of my life. From my cache I can hear Theresa entering the living room and switching on the TV. Used car commercial murmuring in the background. She doesn’t know where I am and doesn’t seem bothered by it, a small relief in our lifestyle of constant companionship. Enfolded in the shielding arms of the machines I pass nearly an hour in this manner, shoulder leaned into the laundry room’s paneled wall, breathing in the sweet smell of fabric softener as the dryer sucks the dripping wet from our bath towels and my jeans thump, thump, thump inside the tumbling drum. I wait for her to look for me but she never comes.
Carrie Padian is a perpetual writing student and observer, lately pursuing a BA in English/Creative Writing at Marylhurst University. In her non-school, non-work hours she organizes public readings for local writers and devours as much as she can of the written word. Her poetry has been published in the online journals VoiceCatcher and Straight Forward Poetry as well as the book code-poems.