We see the man through the doorway to his bedroom. He is singing softly to himself. He is folding laundry, well most of it. He folds his clothes and the clothes of his children. He does not fold or hang up his wife's shirts because they confuse him. They are made of lace and thin fabric and for some reason they are made to never stay on the hanger. Ever. He ignores them and tosses them onto a chair next to the bed. There is a pile of his wife's shirts there already from earlier in the week.
Into the green basket goes his son's clothes, in the blue basket goes his daughter's clothes. He has no idea why he does this he only knows that this is the way he has always done it. Green for him, blue for her. His own clothes get folded neatly and placed at the foot of the bed. They are almost ready for him to put up. This is always how he does laundry. He doesn't know why, he just does. The bed must always be made before he does the laundry because if it's not then a sock will go missing in the comforter that his wife picked out. He secretly hates the comforter because it's not soft, it's a little abrasive. He won't tell his wife this though, he let's her believe in the little fantasy that she has created.
He hums to himself without realizing that he is doing it. He doesn't know the tune, not yet. It's an old tune. Deep and old. He is folding the towels the way he likes to fold the towels. He folds it in thirds like he likes it rather than in half like his wife likes it. He does the laundry, he decides how things get folded. He hums.
He folds the dish towels. They have 100 of these because this is what he prefers. He doesn't like paper towels, the disposibility of the things. He likes permenance, he likes forever. He thinks he hears something downstairs, singing maybe? He's not sure. He picks up the dishtowels and heads downstairs. He steps on a Hot Wheels car in the hallway at the top of the stairs. He picked up the hallway before he folded the laundry and can't believe that he missed the car. It was obvious, right in the middle of the hallway. He doesn't pay that much attention to it because he thinks he hears the singing again. Soft, light, deep and old. He isn't sure.
"Ring around......" He makes out, or at least he thinks he does.
He goes downstairs to the living room and stops. He looks around. Something feels off, he's not sure. Laundry is always his last chore of the day. He starts his chores by cleaning the kitchen, the living room, playrooms before heading upstairs. He does the kids rooms then, the bathrooms and finally his bedroom. Then the laundry.
He looks at the living room. There are a few toys on the floor, almost pushed to the side. He thought he picked everything up. He hums a song without knowing it. A deep and old song. He picks up the toys and heads to the kitchen. There are 2 glasses in the sink, a blue one and a green one. He supposes he missed it when he loaded the dishwasher earlier in the day. He puts them away and puts the dish towels on the counter. He hears the singing again. It's not coming from downstairs after all, it's upstairs, in one of the rooms.
"Ring around the....." It's muffled but a bit more clear this time around. He wonders what toy has been left on.
He heads back upstairs to finish the laundry. At the top of the stairs he steps on a Hot Wheels car. This time he looks at it. It was in the middle of the hallway. He picks it up and puts it in his son's room. He is feeling like he has Deja Vu. His son's room is usually an easy clean as the toys don't get scattered as much and the bed is only a twin. It's easy to make a twin bed, quick and fast. The bed is not made. He suppose he forgot it. He makes the bed and hears the song.
He goes to his daughters room and the song stops. He makes her bed too as he guesses that he wasn't to keen on making beds today. He goes back to his room to put away the laundry. He hums a song.
There are no clothes in the green and blue baskets. They are on the bed, unfolded. His wifes shirts are on the floor. He picks up the shirts and puts them on the chair. He starts folding and putting clothes in the green and blue baskets. He folds the towels into thirds because that is the way he likes it. His wife likes it folded in half but if she did the laundry she could fold it the way she wanted to. He hums.
He takes the green basket to his sons room. He steps on a hot wheels car. This time he stares at it. It was in the middle of the hallway. He hears singing downstairs.
"Ring around the rosy......" He needs a drink. It's only 2 pm but what does he care, he has no where to be today. He drops the basket and heads downstairs trying to find the singing and to get him a nice whiskey.
The toy box in the living room is pushed over. All the toys are spilled out. Stuffed animals are behind the TV as well. There is an empty poptart wrapper on the couch. There is a blueberry stain next to it. The dishtowels are in the middle of the floor, all 100 of them. He picks them up and goes to the kitchen for his drink thinking that he is really off his game today and hasn't cleaned up very well. He hums and sings a little, a deep old song.
There are two green cups in the sink. They are sitting next to two blue cups. He stops, looking at them. He hears singing. Clearer now, closer.
"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of......"
He heads upstairs to find the toy singing. At the top of the stairs he steps on a hot wheels car. He carelessly throws it on his son's unmade bed. He goes to his room, that's where the singing is.
The green basket is pushed over to the side, the blue basket is again empty. The shirts are on the floor in the dirty clothes pile. He picks them up before he realizes that they stink like they need to be washed, like they were never washed in the first place. He puts them in the green basket so that he can wash them. His bed is not made, the abrasive comforter is pushed to the side, the sheet is barely hanging on. He hears singing.
"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posey." He runs downstairs, stepping on a hot wheels car.
In the living room the toys are thrown all over. The stuffed animals are in the dogs water bowl. Woody is hanging by his string from a chair. He goes to the kitchen and sees green cups next to blue cups in the sink. 3, 4, 5 of them. He hears the singing but he can't find it.
"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy, ashes, ashes......." It's loud, it's clear. It's upstairs.
He leaves the kitchen and runs back upstairs to his daughter's room. He kicks a hot wheels car out of the way in the hallway. He goes into his daughters room. The bed is unmade. There is paper on the floor, paper that should be on the walls. There are markers on the floor, next to the wall that now has little colored pink faces screaming. He doesn't understand, he doesn't understand.
He runs back downstairs, he trips over a hot wheels car. He gets back on his feet and stops when he reaches the living room. Trashed, it's trashed. The toys are everywhere, there are crushed crackers in the carpet. There are purple juice stains next to the crackers. The dishtowels are soaking wet and thrown on his favorite chair. The kitchen has flies in it. The green and blue cups are over flowing the sink. He hears the singing, the whole house is singing.
"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy, ashes, ashes, we....."
He leaves the kitchen, he leaves the living room, he runs back upstairs. He stops and stares at the hotwheels car in the middle of the hallway, he hears the singing. It's clear, it's loud.
He goes to his room. Clothes are thrown everywhere. The green and blue baskets have towels in them, towels folded in half. The bed is stripped and the covers are thrown to one side. He looks, unsure of what is happening, not understanding. He steps back and trips over a pile of his wife's shirts.
We leave the room of the man. Through the doorway we can see him sitting in filth. The only sound we hear is him singing a song, an old song, a deep song.
We all fall down........