I am having a stressful morning. Although I suspect that I am over-reacting, and being needlessly melodramatic.
Yesterday afternoon I had rehearsal for this week’s theatrical spectacular (or ‘spooktacular’ if you have zero respect for the English language) in Flanagans on O’Connell Street. The rehearsals went OK. I am almost ready. I hope. I have the lines learned and the blocking memorised. It’s just that doing them simultaneously is still a little bit iffy. I have not reached a point where I can recite the text without concentrating. That’s the position I prefer to be in, going in to a show.
I am not there yet. But I will be. The play has nothing to do with my Monday morning anxiety however.
When I got home from rehearsal I placed a washload in the machine, and set the thermometer to forty degrees. Socks and underwear, and t-shirts and towels for the coming week need to be fresh, with the stench of detergent emanating from the fibres.
I switched it on. Nothing happened. The machine is not dead as it made a low humming sound. But the timer had failed to activate.
I swore internally. I had sufficient quantities of clean smalls and socks to last the week,. But their numbers are finite. If my washing machine is broken, would this mean that I would need to contact my landlord to repair or replace it?
Why was such an idea – seemingly so obvious – so unappealing to me?
Perhaps I am just not used to renting. I owned my own flat in Amsterdam. And I didn’t possess a washing machine – there was a self-service laundrette across the road from my house to which I paid a weekly visit, where I could dispose of the change accumulated during the week.
I want my landlord to forget I exist. I will pay the rent on the same date every month and that will be the extent of our contact with each other.
I think my rent is fixed in price to the end of 2017.
After that all bets are off. And in my neighbourhood, when it comes to rental price, the only way is up (baby, for you and me now).
How long would it take for him to either fix or repair it? What would I do for clean clothes once I had run out? Was there a laundrette near my house?
Dilemma. This was an existential crisis – breathtakingly trivial in scope, I grant you, but a crisis nonetheless.
For the rest of the evening I tried to switch on the machine at thirty minute intervals. To no avail. I pressed the ‘Start’ button resentfully, muttering abuse to the machine as I did so. No reaction.
I went to bed with the intention to locate a laundrette in my neighbourhood. This was to be Monday’s most important task.
As I was having my morning glass of water, before leaving the house at 8am , I pressed the ‘Start’ button.
The machine whirred into life and the wash cycle began. Hallelujah
So why the worry? Well during my research about broken washing machines last night. I discovered that the most common cause of fire in the home is caused by washing machines. Why this is, I have no idea. But I left my building with that machine doing its thing.
I do hope my flat is still standing when I get home this evening.
Or maybe I need a good dose of perspective.