November 2, 2012
After finding a washing machine, I sit back in my seat, an aisle one in the right-hand section of the theater, maybe ten rows from the stage. I’ve pulled the heavy piece of luggage carrying the boots — the piece is from my youth, and seemed so much lighter then! Have I really lost that much muscle? — and sorted the laundry. The machines are cubes, about two-feet square, piled on top of each other. Which to use? Which to buy? I start to stuff my sorted clothes and linens into machines, but get confused about the soap. Adorable little bottles, so many to choose from. I had gathered up a dozen assorted ones. But, wait — the machine is a high-powered Vista, and needs a special soap. I aim to return all the soaps I no longer can use to the proper boxes, but can’t match them up right. Too many left over. How confusing. Each of the machines seem to be about $200, my budget. I should be more careful, and research the machines rather than just select one from the nearest store. But I need to do my wash. Any of these will do.
After putting a load in to one machine, I settle into my seat. A soprano with an angel voice sings in a Scottish or Irish dialect I don’t understand. I don’t need to know the words, I know it is a love song and the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. She is looking right at me, she must have heard the advice to find an appreciative audience member and sing to just one person. And I know I am that person; we are in perfect sync. As I smile at her, she smiles back — never missing a beat of the most beautiful song. I have chills and am elevated listening to her every word sung in the most stunning manner. I begin to make out some of the words, I am paying such close attention. Do others realize how luscious this moment is? How fantastic this singer is? When the song ends, shall I stand? I see only a few others do. I don’t care if I’m different, if I’m the only one standing. I rise to my feet and clap.
It’s intermission; I’d better tend the laundry. How do I get to the machine that is in the middle of the wide center section? Oh, good, people are clearing out of the row and I can get to the machine. I comment to the others tending their laundry. “Whoever placed the machines in the center of the row, didn’t attend the theater himself, I bet. A horrible place to put them, rather than the end of a row.”
As I make my way to my seat with laundry in tow, someone comments on my doing laundry at such a time as this. “I like to multi-task,” I offer as an embarrassed explanation.
Meanwhile, I hold the song of the soprano in my heart.