Hot Laundry

The first night after my parents’ divorce just happened to be laundry night. My brothers and I were sitting on the couch enjoying a television program when, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, Dad dumped hot laundry on us. My brothers and I giggled as we rolled around in the clothy warmth of shirts and socks fresh out of the dryer. Dad giggled too.

Every night thereafter for a year Dad would dump hot laundry on us. He would take clean clothes from our drawers and dirty clothes from the hamper and put all of them in the dryer and once we heard that buzzer laboring its vocation, my brothers and I would look to one another, knowing we were all about to embark on an epic giggle-fit.

We would always giggle with the same, or sometimes greater, tenacity…until one day, my eldest brother, Travis, tragically stubbed his toe. No amount or temperature of laundry dumped was a match for the resilience of his mopery. The next night there would be no hot laundry…for us anyway.

After that, Dad was always dumping hot laundry on something: the TV, the car, park-benches, stray dogs, but never us. Dad had taken Travis’ knife out his back before thrusting it into all of us, and every empty chair or box of frozen corn-dogs that got a load of hot laundry dumped on it was a slight, but painful twist of that knife.

Leave a Reply