I have spent years doing laundry, both mine and others. It is drudgery and a chore that cannot be fully appreciated for being anything more. During those hours of exasperating toil of what I considered to be an empty and futile task (what was done today only became undone again tomorrow) my creative mind drifted to the endless secrets and stories that laundry possessed.
An article of clothing is not much different than an article of information. Snagged threads, stained collars, runs in knits, torn pant knees, clothing that showed wear in predictable places as children outgrew them, pockets that held much more than lint: so many intimacies were revealed in those repositories of information.
I never revealed my findings however. I was protective of the secrets I became privy to and considered my role as laundress equal to a person in a position of utmost confidence.
There was a tremendous responsibility in that assignment. I held confidences that could topple... well, small kingdoms. I became the repository.
A good laundress learns to mend minor 'indiscretions' and a confidante is a woman to whom personal matters and secrets are told and entrusted. It was through laundry that I learned my path in life held meaning.