October 23, 2006


Today I found myself late to work because I discovered the simple joy of hot laundry.

When I got out of bed, it was freezing in my house. This is because I love to sleep in the cold, and because I love fresh air circulating through the rooms of my house.

[Note: One of the most disgusting things, in my humble opinion, is when people sleep with their windows and doors shut in their bedrooms. In the morning, their rooms always have that weird "sleeping people" smell - it's kinda warm, and stale, and filthy, like old socks and dirty hair and a mixture of sex and bad breath, all combined and made airborne. Totally wrong.]

This morning, though, the chill was more than refreshing -- it was possibly dangerous. As I lay there in bed (a pillowtop, with a heating mattress cover beneath my sheets and a feather comforter over me -- glorious) with my nose peeking out, I actually saw my breath -- my breath! -- puffing out over the top of my covers and lighting up the dark room like a warning. The warning was that if I set foot out there I might not make it.

But I had to get up a bit early, having left clothes damp in the dryer the night before. I knew if I didn't get up to turn them on, I'd have nothing to wear to work -- a fate worse than frostbitten extremities.

Propelled by this thought, I gathered my courage. After taking one more deep breath of the warm air beneath my comforter, I threw off the covers, sprinting for the door. Pausing to slide into my cheetah-print slippers, and sidestepping the cat, I flung the door open, raced down the stairs, turned the dryer dial and slapped the "high" and "on" buttons before spinning around and hurtling myself back up the stairs, through the door and back into bed (slippers still on). The whole trip likely took me less than 2 minutes, but my nose was still an icicle by the time I finally jerked the covers back over my head.

25 minutes later, my alarm went off. This was the second call -- the one where I legitimately had to get up in order to get the laundry, dress, make coffee and get to work on time. Again, I steeled myself. At least this time I already had my slippers on.

Off, again, went the covers and out the door I scurried, down the stairs and to the dryer. I whipped the dryer door open, plunging my hands into my clean, dry clothes, gathering them to my body and taking them back into my living room.

Only once I was back in my apartment did I realize my arms and chest were suddenly nice and warm. The almost burning-hot clothes were heating me up, and it was heavenly. No sooner did I discover this than I found myself lying on my floor in my pajamas and slippers, covered in my pile of scalding hot laundry.


There I lay, a ridiculous-looking, breathing pile of laundry on the carpet, moanind and reveling in the sensation of the metal buttons of my just-dried jeans burning my exposed knees and forearms, the glorious waves of heat from the dark, heavy towels pressing down... I was euphoric, delirious with pleasure and brilliantly saved from a certain death in the frigid duplex I call my home.

A half hour or so later, I woke up on my floor to a rapidly lightening sky and the nudging of my purring, drooling cat, who was deliberately and happily adjusting herself in her little hot nest on top of me and the pile of cooling clothes.

If I could have re-heated them I might have done that all day.

As it was, I heaved the cat and clothes heap off me and went about my morning routine after hanging up the clothes, my temporary escape, under the resentful gaze of the displaced (and newly chilly) feline.

If you haven't done this, you must. Pick a cold, rainy day, put in a huge load of towels, and heat 'em up. Best 30 minutes you ever spent on the floor.

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