Todd has become buddies with a woman who does laundry for several apartments in our building. The reason that Todd does our laundry in the communal basement laundry room and not in the washer and dryer conveniently located in the kitchen of our home is our asthmatic Siamese cat Tinky and is not the point of this story. That is a whole other story.
The other day, when Todd was doing laundry, his new friend was very upset and felt the need to share with Todd the reason why. She told Todd that there was feces in one of the washing machines; and because she was only an employee and Todd was a resident, she believed it was Todd’s duty to pass on this important information to our doorman. She also said this was the second time she’d discovered feces in the washing machines.
If I had wanted to make this a funny story, I would have highlighted the scatologically humorous and not un-ironic detail of the machine in question being the appropriately labeled washer number 2.
But this is not a funny story.
The problem is that I am often kept up at night with the dread that my life is slowly falling apart. This is not a new feeling for me, and mostly I talk myself into the idea that it is all in my head... but cracking walls and warping floors and the other unavoidable examples of the crumbling of my physical world have become a metaphor for the current state of my life. Or more.
There’s fucking feces in the fucking washing machine for fuck’s sake.
This must be some kind of sign.
Thirty years ago, when I lived a bleak little life in a bleak little illegal sublet on Avenue B, I would sometimes find human excrement on the stairs of the filthy tenement building when I would come home at night. I remember that I considered the human excrement to be warnings from God.
*Please note the use of the words “feces” and “excrement” instead of words like “poop” or “doody” to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.