“There is a laundromat near my house. Sometimes I sit there...a bit longer than I should. The owner doesn't bother me. No one is really using the machines when I am around. But I linger longer than I should, and think on what I saw all the time ago. The thump of something in the washing machine. The red tinge of the water. The silence that followed when it stopped and no one in the room knew to whom the load belonged. The screams that followed upon opening.
It is strange how a single event can mark you. Can leave you pondering for longer than you could ever imagine you could. And despite the fact what you saw was terrible, awful even, you are surprised when you realize just how much of what you have been feeling feels closer to understanding, and less like horror. And it is at that point that you begin to wonder whether you are mad.
So you find a quiet time of night. Return to the scene of the happening. You act at first as if it was just curiosity. But you soon find yourself being drawn back to it. Almost like you are following nostalgia. And though at first you are disgusted with yourself, instead of leaving and never coming back, it begins to become habit. You begin to remember things you didn't think you would remember. The details expand, some diminish, as you desperately try to sort out what, if anything, that you remember is real and what has become manufactured.
The news never specified where the discovery happened. I imagine it is the only reason it has stayed in business. That, and people really don't seem to want to talk about it. I have tried to talk to some of the people who were there, visit them at their houses. But they always give me a look, as if I had somehow committed the act itself, as if all of their fear was because of something I had did. They close their door quickly, and after a moment I must walk away.
I am the only one to react this way. The only one who seems to returns. I reflect on it now, and though none of the machines are running now, I can still hear something. That thump, as something heavy is flung against the side of the machine. And though there is nothing there I still end up jumping in reaction to it, only to be overwhelmed by the silence that follows afterwards. I have wanted to express all of these feelings to someone, but I don't think anyone but you could understand. It is simply too strange of a reaction. Too odd to relate to.