A Conversation from the Washing Line

Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

“I can’t believe that dumb bitch put me in the washing machine.” Silk Shirt takes in the dark grey sky and her rage grows. “If it pisses it down on me now, I swear I’ll shrink on purpose just to teach her a lesson.”

“Give it a bloody rest, will you?” mutters Holey Old Band Tee. “There’s no wonder she treats you like crap when you’re so hoity toity and full of yourself. If you ever want to bag yourself Favourite Garment status, you have to relax. Roll with the punches. Pitch yourself as reliable. Comfortable. Cool. And make sure you age gracefully. That’s what I did. 20 years she’s been wearing me. My hem’s all raggedy and I have five holes and counting, but I still look fucking awesome. I’ve been through more wash cycles than I can count, and I’ve been left out in the rain at least six times a year since she first bought me. Do you catch me complaining? No. You’ll only ever catch me looking totally rock and roll. That’s why I’m her favourite.”

“It won’t last,” says Paint-Splattered Jeans glumly. “I was you, once. She never wanted to take me off. She wore me everywhere. We saw the world! Then one day, all of a sudden, I was relegated to DIY.”

Silk Shirt gasps. “What happened?”

“She dropped a spoonful of curry on me. It… it…” Paint-Splattered Jeans sobs. “It stained!”

Pyjama Bottoms yawns. “Will you guys keep it down? I’m trying to snooze.”

Holey Old Band Tee laughs. “Ah, a stain’s nothing. You can rock a stain if you have the right attitude.”

“Not a stain on the crotch,” says Paint-Splattered Jeans. “There’s no way to pass that off as stylish. As soon as she spilled that curry on me, I was a goner. These days I don’t go anywhere. The most I see is this bloody garden. And you know what hurts the most? It was her fault. She’s the one who missed her mouth. She’s the one who didn’t bother to scrub out the sauce before it set in. If I’d have busted a seam, I could have understood it. But she’s punishing me for her own carelessness.”

“Too right,” Silk Shirt says as she flaps frantically in the breeze. “She doesn’t deserve nice clothes. The clouds are getting closer. If she doesn’t come outside right now to bring us in, we’re going to be very, very wet. And just as we’ve all got dry, too.”

“Get a grip!” Holey Old Band Tee shouts. “I’m sick of all this whinging. You’re almost as bad as The Knickers.”

“But The Knickers haven’t said a word,” says Silk Shirt.

“Not yet,” mutters Paint-Splattered Jeans. “But they will. They go into a sort of daze after washing, but the memories soon come flooding back.”

“It’s a nightmare,” says Pyjama Bottoms. “Can’t get a wink of sleep once they start wailing.”

Right on cue, Red Lacy Thong begins to mumble. “No. No. No, no, no, not me again, choose another pair, I’ve been through enough. I’ve been discarded on too many strange bedroom floors to cope with any more.”

Black French Knickers kicks off. “The things we’ve seen… The things we’ve touched… The things we’ve smelled! Oh, what an existence. Make it stop. For the love of gussets, make it stop.”

Big Ugly Period Pants begins to weep. “No… more… blood. No… more… blood. No… more…”

“Enough!” snaps Pyjama Bottoms. “It’s exhausting listening to you all.”

The clothes fall silent as the first drops of rain begin to fall.

“Here it comes,” Paint-Splattered Jeans sighs. “Brace yourselves.”

Holey Old Band Tee is nonplussed. “Just let the rain wash over you, it ain’t that bad.”

But Silk Shirt can’t help but the sky. “I’m dry clean only, you bastard! Damn you! Damn you to hell!”