Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ode to my washing machine

So the news was good. For a little while. We could wash our clothes again. The technician had come to the apartment, fixed the washing machine door and left confident that his job was done. I returned home to a seemingly finished cycle and tried to open the door, thinking that it would open effortlessly, the clothes inside would be ready to hang out to dry, and our life would move on. No sooner did I try to open the door than the plastic cover popped off and the glass window shrugged out, leaving the door still shut with an open hole between me and my rommate’s pile of soaked clothes still sitting in water.

I called Sarah to announce to bad news. Then, I called the technician again. But what happened? Asked the woman on the other side of the line. I tried to open the door, that’s what happened. In this provincial life where my greatest excitement is going out on a Wednesday night (because, according to my language class, that’s when the weekend begins in Italy), this washing machine fiasco seems to be providing all the fun, stress and excitement I need. It may be Italy, it may be me, it may be the washing machine, but something just isn’t working here.

I’ve always had bad luck with water. As a child I was petrified of learning to swim until I put on a snorkel mask in a pool and glided into the strokes fearlessly. Once I accidentally defrosted the freezer in the basement, having been lured to press the big red button in the fridge, not thinking of the consequences of big red buttons. There was also an overflowing toilet, but that was minimally damaging. There is a photo taken by my mother, early in her photographic career, of me holding a bucket looking exasperatedly up at the leaking skylight. But that wasn’t my fault. Oh, but who could forget that night when I ran a bath, and went downstairs and forgot. Thinking that my brother was keeping an eye on the water I had gone to the basement calmly. Seeing drops of water leaking from the ceiling in the kitchen below the bathroom when I came back upstairs, my heart stopped. I ran upstairs to find the bathtub overflowing and the bathroom floor thick with water. That night I felt so stupid, all that damage, neglect, water. Regardless, I still like to swim. In short, water and I have a love-hate relationship.

So Thursday the technician comes again and perhaps this time solves all of our problems, leaving me to wash my clothes as much as I want, but even in this unknown future scenario I will surely be afraid to try and open the door.

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