Sunday, May 22, 2011


The sun dries a mountain of coffee beans on the patio while I am busy at the pila washing the dust from the week’s dirty laundry.  Although it’s not the most comfortable time to do laundry, midday is the most efficient because the power of the one o’clock sun dries clothes faster than all the muscle of a Whirlpool drier.  Washing clothes by hand is difficult without the years of experience that the small, plump village women have on resume.  Sweat drips from my brow, makes a journey to my neck and eventually ends up collecting on my stomach.  After a while it is hard to distinguish what is sweat and what is wet from the splash of sudsy water.  It isn’t hard to keep your mind occupied while doing laundry by hand.  Repetition and heat is the perfect recipe for a daydream.

The daydream starts light with today and moves to the past and depending how far you get it moves to the future.  How could I be so stupid to think elementary students would share my vision for their English language success?  I’m only 23 years old and not far removed from their attitude.  It’s not like I never cheated on a test in 6th grade.  All of a sudden you realize how hard you are gripping your dirty socks, how forceful you rub them on the corrugated concrete, and how much of that soap you really don’t need to wash one sock.

I think about my friends and family at home as if they are inanimate sitting in the same room where I left them.  I hope that they will not have moved when I come back, but it is only wishful thinking.  They live as you have lived moving forward only without your presence.  Sometimes I realize I’m not doing laundry anymore at all.  That I am left idle in thought, sock in hand with a heavy heart.

What will I do in the future?  Where will this experience take me?  I think about money and how I loath that I love it.  I loath that I seek professions that traditionally don’t make a mountain of money, but live a lifestyle that requires it.  There is one thought that consoles me: Do what you love and you will find a way to make money from it, not because money is the end you seek, but because you are good at it and the market will value your expertise.  Done.  Clothes clean.  Time to relax in the sun with my laundry.  

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