by Nick Holle

The white is like the light. Like Jesus or a Jesus-like figure. Doves and matrimony. Milk and cotton balls. Innocence and...and really fucking shitty metaphors.

“What is going on here?” our dear hero Barton thinks. “I’m just doing my laundry.”

Ah, the laundry. It is never just laundry. It is a beautiful thing, laundry, oh laundry. Where once it was clean, now ‘tis filthy. Stained with ghastly grub and grime and utter yellowness, a color also very much like white, like light. Like Jesus or a Jesus-like figure.

“Okay, stop,” Barton says aloud, startling and nearly knocking over the old lady folding panties beside him.

A dear old lady, petite and feisty. If only she wasn’t fresh off of bunion surgery, she could cause conflict, drama in our story. But no, she continues with the panties. And yes, those panties. Panties, a word women hate. Yet, why? Most of them wear panties every day. This attire, whose name they despise, but whose size and shape describe the very personality of the lower torsos inside. The bigger, the purer. The whiter, the purer. Yes, white, precious white.

“Jesus Christ,” Barton says.

“Gesundheit,” says the old lady.

“Stop with the white shit,” Barton says.

But shit isn’t white. It is brown, and it is gross. Everything that is not white is but unpure and unlikable and unhealthy and unreliable and unpleasurable (except for red, lacy panties). Shit, brown, darkness, none are like Jesus or a Jesus-like figure.

Barton tries to ignore this. He has only one load to launder, his whites, his dirty undies.

White is like the light. Panties.

“Dammit,” Barton says.

“Snort?” says the old lady, offering Barton a drink from a small, tin flask.

“No thanks,” Barton says. He sets his bottle of bleach on top of the washer.

Bleach. White.

Barton stops, and forgetting the laundry, scans the bottle of bleach for its “Nutrition Facts”.

Bleach turns everything white. Sacred white. Light.

Barton focuses hard, looking at the bleach's ingredients, instructions.

White, like Barton. Caucasian. European. Oppression. Racism.

“What are you talking about?” the bleach bottle asks Barton.

Bleach removes the color, rids all the color from existence. So too do white people. Indian genocide. Slavery. Bigotry. Ah, bleach and its hazardous contents, a symbol, a mark of persecution throughout your achromatic history, or at least since your association with skin pigmentation. One bad apple.

“What about Jesus?” says the bleach bottle.

“False idols,” says the old lady.

“Or maybe He was just brown,” Barton added.

Oh bleach. Oh beautiful bleach, why do you suck so? And white people, why do you also suck? Giving your colorless purity such a shitty name?

Barton triumphantly delivers the bottle of bleach into a trash bin full of lint and dryer sheets. He borrows a cup of Era from the old lady beside him. Era, a blue liquid. And so begins a new era for our dear hero Barton, a wonderer of really fucking shitty metaphors.


© 2004 Nick Holle, All Rights Reserved.