Upon arriving at university,

never have I encountered such complexity,

as washing my clothes.

How does one confidently say

if light grey

is washed with white or darks?

I’m just not cut out for this lark.

As I approach the machine,

it’s quite obscene,

and my hands start to sweat.

I’ve never read good housekeeping magazine…

I have no idea what this symbol means…

Will this setting clean my jeans?

Or shrink them to death?

Come on,

take a breath,

you can do this.

I go to open the beastly thing

and alarm bells start to ring…

It won’t open.

I’ve been hoping

for a stress free wash.

I’m not hopeful anymore.

I could’ve sworn

that on the beastly thing there lies,

quite visible to the eyes,

a sign which reads:


Yet this gives no explanation,

but rather increases my frustration,

when the person before me,

left their clothes in there for all to see,

with O minutes left on their cycle.

Keep calm. You can go to another machine!

There are eight here!

It has to be

that at least one is free

I naively thought.

All eight beastly things,

and eight, great, big fat noughts,

blipping their mockery at me from the LED display.

What is the etiquette in this situation?

In this cold, intimidating communal washing station?

(It’s certainly not to render the machines useless with your tardiness.)

I resist the temptation,

as the minutes go by,

to unload their clothes myself.

They can even use my bag which I,

in textbook preparation,

brought to the washing station.

And I’ll hang it for them,

on these convenient little pegs.

No. they don’t deserve it,

can’t they use their legs?

A fire burns within me.

Didn’t they see?

The sign which said “UNLOAD PROMPTLY”?

I saw it clearly –

and I’m not even cut out for this lark.

That’s it, I’m done.

That’s enough washing for today.

As if the stress of laundry alone isn’t enough to ruin my day,

I must deal with these people who think it’s okay,