Apr 21, 2016, 09:46AM

My Heart Goes Around Like a Washing Machine

52 Weeks of Elizabeth Veldon, Week 16: “a portrait of the artist as a middle aged woman who smiles at dogs and children” (07/29/14).

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Maybe it’s a mild depression. Maybe it’s loneliness. Maybe it’s the cigarettes. Maybe it’s the result of the semi-sedentary lifestyle that daily telecommuting demands. It’s probably all of the aforementioned plus the onset of middle age. You wake and move through the day in slow motion, in suspended animation. Assignments and errands are accomplished in a perfunctory manner; nothing is especially surprising or exciting, and there are very few revelations. And, yes, you smile beatifically at children who fear you and dogs that don’t trust you.

“a portrait of the artist as a middle aged woman who smiles at dogs and children” rumbles, cycles, and quakes like a fully occupied laundromat experienced through eardrops and cotton balls. For 20 indistinct minutes, an identical row of cylinders rattles a row of corrugated metal frames, seeming to boom at you from the far end of a football field. That remove is representative of how the wider world sometimes comes across for those who don’t necessarily feel part of things: everybody else has more money, energy, fun, and zest for living than you ever could have. Meanwhile, those industrial-grade washers and dryers are likely to outlive us all.


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