She said this from the basement to no one in particular, along with a string of towel-related insights. Wet towels on the bed, bathroom towels that didn't match, me using the good fluffy towels and not the thin falling-apart ones she wanted me too - all mutterings tumbling from her mouth that day.

It seems that as we grow older all we ever talk about are the stupid little things - towels, toothpaste squeezing methods, the way I leave one dish on the counter whenever I clean the kitchen. These are things I don't really notice, more concerned with the birds in the window or a song I heard last week. I try to veer away from household talk, but she always finds a way back in. I tell her I picked my courses for next year and she says "Oh, that's nice dear. Would you mind not leaving your watch in the bathroom next time you have a shower?" I want to hit her right at that particular moment. I want to throw her in the shower, fully-clothed (she can't stand the wet, like a cat), and dangle my watch in front of her while I throw dirt around the room with my other hand. But I don't. I walk away instead.

She says we never communicate - I guess this is her way of making sure we don't. If we did I might end up telling her things she doesn't want to hear and she would be forced to get messy. She hates messy. She hides behind clean like a mime in a phantom box. I know there is more to her - it used to be there, but now I don't know if it's gone completely or if she's just hiding it from me.

I tell her I hate talking about towels and she sighs and tells me that I will end up living in a dump. Perhaps I will, mother, but at least I won't end up sitting alone in a quiet lemony-fresh house with only my memories to keep me company because I've disinfected everything REAL. And she used to be so excited about the "real world."

She's fighting to reclaim her laundry. A metaphor, probably, thrown in for my sake. I hope to God she never finds it.

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