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  • Jane

The Washing


Shabbat morning.

Mum's holding the tub full of washing.

What shall I do with this? She is tentative, confused. 

I am busy at my desk trying to get some work done and have no patience. 

Take it outside to the balcony, I answer. 

She doesn’t seem to understand and I know this, but I'm not feeling kind at the moment. 

She goes to Yasha and asks him.

Where is the balcony?

Yasha: Ask Jane.

She comes back to me, at the desk, still holding the tub of washing. 

And asks again.

I repeat: Outside in the front, and I point towards the front door. She doesn’t understand. 

I point again and say Outside. But I don’t look at her, because I’m not feeling patient and I need some space. 

She wanders outside, I think. I am not looking. I’m not sure if she’s found ‘outside’ or ‘the front’. 

A few minutes pass and I’m feeling guilty. I decide to go and check, even though I just want to sit here at my desk, do my work and not move.

I peep out the window to the balcony. She’s managed to do it - to hang the clothes on the clothes-horse ‘in the front’. 

Behind her are the guys. It’s 2.30pm in the afternoon, and the house is already filling up with the smell of weed. 

I sigh again. Mum, the Iranians, Orthodox Yasha, Bee, and me - a richly diverse household. I need a lot of patience!

Yasha has finished praying (3 hours worth) and has set the table for Shabbat. It looks white and pristine with many little plates of tasty food. He wakes Bee to come for lunch. I’m still in my nightie. Many vibes here. 

Mum and S, the tenant, are now chatting. They get on well. She’s thanking him for being nice to him, and I think she’s now showing him the washing she just hung up. I need to be more patient, like S. 

Maybe he’s patient cos he’s stoned. No, probably not. 


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