Friday, July 28, 2006

Fiction Fridays: Lost and Found

Cleaning out the lint traps on the dryers was her favorite thing to do. The lint colors were a subtly graded continuum of all the muted tones in the world, or in the neighborhood’s fabrics anyway. She liked that they were woven together by the dryer’s repetitive tumbling cycles; they were a fabric of fabrics. Yes there was dust and dirt but she knew it was best for her not to think about that kind of thing.

She had worked in her parent’s laundromat since high school. Essentially, she hated it, but over time she encouraged herself to find the quiet comforting spirit in objects and processes. It was her only attainable hope.

It was very hot in the back by the dryers, the quarter machines jammed at least 2 times a day, on Sundays it was most crowded and wet clothes were very heavy to carry, especially when they were not your own. Jeans were the worst, always twisting into a nest of black and durable arduousness.

Her most deeply hibernating dream lie in the bruised tupperware container that sat in the back by her Mom’s favorite orange upholstered chair. This was the lost and found bin. None of these objects had been claimed or remembered for months and in some cases years. It was never cleaned out, and Petra liked it that way. It represented all the dispensable things that people had in their lives, but didn’t know it and probably never would. Pennies, screws, earrings, beads, pencil stubs, barrettes, paper clips, buttons, unidentifiable metal curiosities, stones and other assorted pocket sized treasures.

Petra dreamed of creating jewlry from the fragments people left behind. She wanted to organize the remains of the lives she had touched, to string them together piece by forgotten lonely piece. This dream was maturing in her head a little more each time she thought of it. She was starting to work the details out in her mind. Thin golden wire wrapping around baubles of miscellany, uniting and honoring them, giving them a restored raison d’etre. Charms of the charming, pieces of the peacemakers and trinkets of the truthful all woven into a new precious gift.

“Petra! Petra! The dryers need cleaning!” her Mom wailed from the back. She scurried back there and began the task again, this time more peacefully than the last, because she was beginning to realize that her captivating dream was truly at her fingertips.

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