When they reached the water side they went to the washing-cisterns through which there ran at all times enough pure water to wash any quantity of linen, no matter how dirty. They took the clothes out of the wagon, put them in the water, and vied with one another in treading them in the pits to get the dirt out. they laid the clothes out by the sea side where the waves had raised a high beach of shingle, and there waited for the sun to dry them…
The Odyssey, Book VI
Select the appropriate wash cycle. Empty your pockets. Unfold the sleeves and close the zippers. Separate your linen by color: white, dark, colored. Wash new, colored linen separately at a maximum temperature of 40°C. Use the correct amount of detergent. Please remove your clothes from the machines when the cycle is complete, as a courtesy to others. Please buy your loyalty cards at the cash desk.
Sidewalk in front of LavaMais – Avenida Almirante Reis, Lisboa.
They left in such a hurry that they forgot their socks.
a mark on something that is difficult to remove
Speed Queen Laundromat – Avenida Infante Santo, Lisboa.
A man rubs white cloth between his fingers, pours bleach into a machine. Later he will search the fabric for the spot and find it.
The shirt is ruined.
Rua de Moçambique, Lisboa.
A clothesline is shared. They chat as they unpin sheets, luffing sail-like in the breeze.
The washwoman beats the laundry
Against the stone in the tank.
She sings because she sings and is sad
For she sings because she exists:
Thus she is also happy.
Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)
Garvie, A. F. 1994. Odyssey. Books VI-VIII. Cambridge [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1993. Merriam-Webster’s English Dictionary. 10th ed. Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.
Pessoa, Fernando, and Richard Zenith. 1998. Fernando Pessoa & Co. : Selected Poems. 1st ed. New York: Grove Press.