August 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

At the Laundromat after the Day of Freedom

At the Laundromat after the Day of Freedom

By Sukhmani Khorana

So it is a sunny-enough Sunday with a cool breeze
and a short stroll to the local laundromat
with its chained antique television set
and its stash of women’s magazines.

Do only women come here?

We know it is not just women who read them
but let us for now get back to the scene
where the magazines are stacked on a table
next to the 20 cents detergent dispenser.

Is this getting mundane?

Well, what is interesting is a magazine
in fact the most recent issue of Women’s Weekly
oh how these latest editions have more value
and this one is positively glossy
even as it advocates a return
to the age of the domestic goddess
bake bake bake
clean clean clean
be a lady, not a ladette
have a career, be a wife
have a few kids, shed the kilos
follow this trend, don’t emulate that celebrity
you sound neurotic
family is better than therapy
go go go
there is a sale
bargains are better than husbands
chocolate more satisfying than sex
please please please
say no when you don’t want it
divorce is bad for the kids
don’t marry too late
don’t be desperate
be yourself

Puns aside, pins aside, be free.

The clothes are dry and the old television
is screeching with a new makeover show
so remind me to take Virginia Woolf along
next time I go to the laundromat.

Image: Titled American Progress, this is an 1872 painting by John Gast which is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west.

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