I stopped, frozen in my tracks, ready to high-tail it back upstairs to get Don and his gun, when I realized I wasn’t in any danger.
The voices were coming from my washer and dryer.
They’re a stackable unit, Maytag Neptune, great at getting our clothes clean and back in service. This I know.
But the talking part? That’s new to me.
“The woman of the house,” I heard the washer saying. “She’s sick again.”
“What?” from my dryer. “No way. It’s been almost five years. The doctors said she was home free.”
“I’m telling you. She’s sick again. The clothes are piling up.”
“That happens. She’s a busy wife and Mom. She’s got a five-year-old little boy. You know how much laundry he makes!”
“I know. But this is different. It’s not just the piles of laundry. It’s the people. There are people coming in to help. Friends, neighbors, relatives. They’re washing, drying, folding. Carrying baskets in and out of here.”
“How do you know?” my dryer asks.
“You always forget about my front-load window to the world,” my washer says with an exasperated gasp.
“Oh yeah. There’s that.”
There was a long pause, a good 30 seconds of silence. I thought they were done.
I was about to sneak off with my piece of Impossible Coconut Pie when I heard my dryer whisper. Not so much to his mate as to the universe.
“I hope she is going to be OK.”
There was another long pause, then, softly, from the washer:
“She will be. She’s a fighter. She’s going to be OK.”
“How will we know when she’s better?”
“We’ll know when she’s the one loading us again. That’s when we’ll know.”
“I hope that’s soon.”
“Me too. I miss her.”
Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson