For James Reedy, the thought of doing laundry again sickened him. It had been almost a full month since his last difficult trek to the facilities in his building’s basement, and his pile of dirty clothes had been ominously growing over the past week.
After finally accepting that another trip to the laundry room was inevitable, he grabbed the necessary supplies, took a deep breath, and headed to the room.
It was no surprise to Reedy when he saw that one of the three washing machines available was broken. Nor was he shocked to see small creatures scurrying about the room, poorly attempting to hide themselves before they were squished.
What Reedy hated seeing were the orphaned socks lying all around the room, left lonely and forgotten by several different owners. The sight made his heart drop. He held back tears as he carefully placed all his clothes-socks included-into the functioning washers. As he went back upstairs, he attempted to forget the disturbing images of the socks lying strewn about. But they were, admittedly, hard to shake.
“I just kept thinking, how could anyone forget their socks and not come back looking for them?” Reedy explained. “It’s appalling.”
When the necessary time came, Reedy reentered the messy area and carefully transferred his clothes to the one functioning dryer.
“I always check two or three time to make sure none of my clothes are left in the washer or accidentally fell on the floor,” he explains. “I scan extra hard for my socks.”
Between the several trips up and down his stairs, the transferring of the clothes from the hamper to the washer then the dryer then back to the hamper, and finally the folding process-there are plenty of opportunities to lose the smallest members of his personal laundry. Reedy is guilty of losing clothes in the past.
“I’m not proud of it,” he admits, his lip quivering slightly. He recounts the story of when he wasn’t as careful with this things, and how he would always find he was missing a sock or two when he was finally done with his laundry. His shame, he claims, would keep him from returning to reclaim his property.
After waiting patiently for his clothes in the dryer to be fully dry, Reedy took his load back upstairs to begin folding. For him, this is the “moment of truth.” It is when he finds out what kind of leader he truly is for his clothes who trust him to take care of them.
As he matches the final two socks together, Reedy breathes a sigh of relief. “I made it this time,” he says with a smile. “This time.”