Dearest Washing Machine,
It’s been two weeks since you’ve been gone. I should have noticed much earlier that something was wrong. That hoarse dying sound you made during our final moments together was a clear sign of an impending whirlpool – the sign I foolishly chose to ignore. Please forgive me, dearest Washing Machine. Had I called for specialist help earlier, perhaps our paths would not have had to part so early – and you would still have been here with me.
You have never let me down. Like a true friend, you spent many sleepless cycles looking after my belongings while I was curling up in my bed. You didn’t mind staying up all night alone in the dark kitchen – behind a thick door, too – as long as the noise from spinning did not disturb me. You didn’t say a word when, on occasions, I forgot to unload you first thing in the morning and left for work without letting you enjoy the blissful moments of well deserved rest. And of course you kept quiet when I so thoughtlessly stopped feeding you limestone capsules. I took you for granted, dearest Washing Machine, and I have paid for it.
Seeing your lifeless shell in the kitchen over the last two weeks has drained me inside. I realised just how much I depended on you. You were that magic balancing item in my everyday routine – the only appliance in the house which could run independently in my absence. Except, of course, for the breadmaker. But then again, breadmakers don’t really do laundry that well.
And I’ve never before realised just how much laundry I am used to doing. My insane travel schedule to diametrically opposite climates could not have been something you’d welcome with open doors. Woolen mittens, bikinis, cycling waterproofs, silk scarves, ski pants – nobody in the whole world knew me inside out like you did. Life will never be the same again without you.
Up to my ears in grief, I looked for glimmers of hope in the stained existence my life became with your departure. I had to give some positive spin to not having you around anymore – as impossible as it seemed.
First, I finally got to know the couple living next door. As it happens in England, we only ever used to say hello from our respective doorsteps and didn’t really bother going into details. My neighbours were therefore infinitely surprised when, one rainy evening in London, they found me knocking on their door to ask – you’d dare! – if I could use their washing machine. Confused, they closed the door on me and “considered” my request for about ten minutes. After which the female one came back and silently took the laundry basket from my hands. Never mind that I was not even allowed to come inside to oversee my own laundry being done. This is London, after all, where neighbour friendships are uncommon. Making an unusual move to meet your neighbours of two years can only be a good thing though – even if it quite literally involves going through heaps of dirty laundry.
Not at all discouraged, I continued looking for a breath of fresh air. For my next laundry round, I visited a colleague living nearby whom I barely knew. Quite wonderfully, she confirmed my first impression of a fantastic gal. Her washing machine may have left white powder marks all over my countless LBDs – but I knew from the start anyway that no-one could ever match your rinse-how.
Finally – and you will not believe this, dearest Washing Machine – I have at last understood just how much unnecessary laundry I’ve been doing all these years. The amount of unworn clothes in my wardrobe is simply startling. I am scaling down. Why oh why didn’t you make it crystal clear to me from the beginning that I only ever seemed to wash the same stuff – after a single use, too – instead of putting it back on the racks and wearing something else? You have always been so soft-natured to me. Oh how I wish I could turn back the dial and tell this to your front door! – but it is too, too late now.
All’s well that ends well, however. After two weeks, the Landlady finally heard my prayers. Men in overalls will soon be taking away the shadow of your former self and putting in a new washing machine in your place. But of course no-one can ever take your place in my heart. The memories of the purity moments we have shared will keep rolling on.
Rest In Peace, dearest Washing Machine.
P.S. I have left a pair of your favourite socks in the drum. May they accompany you to eternity.