Clean Sheets

Detergent commercial idyll. ‘Quaint’ countries. The imagined innocence of bygone days. Freshly laundered sheets, always white, snapping in the wind. Primary colors: blue sky, green grass, yellow flowers. The happily barking dog and giggling children get conjured even if they aren’t in the frame. The woman –never, ever, a man– pushes windblown hair away from her face. She is glad to be hanging, never emptying baskets of white sheets. It doesn’t matter that laundry plows such deep furrows through issues of class, feminine identity and roles. It only matters that she is outside in the sun for a moment. And the air -the crystalline images assure us that the air- is the freshest there is. The freshest that has ever been available to breathe. And our sheets will smell like that when we lay ourselves down to sleep.

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