last night i stepped out into the back patio to pull another load of clothes out of the dryer. we have one of those vertically-stacked washer/dryer sets, the practical and ecologically-friendlier german type that uses considerably less water and takes considerably more time to do the job. the machines also make a lot of noise, a big reason to be glad that they're parked outside. but in spite of their pokiness and sonic moans, hums and whines, i'm supremely happy to own them. not having to walk five blocks with a giant bag of laundry in tow on a collapsible dolly on cold, windy, often wet winter days is a never-ending source of satisfaction for me. and the fun doesn't stop there: when i pull a load out of the washer, it also feels like i'm helping give birth to a calf. it reminds me of city slicker billy crystal helping little norman into the world, only better--i don't have to watch jack palance shoot the washing machine.
i digress. i also had a duvet cover on the clothesline, so with an armload of denim i went over to see if it was dry. before i could check, though, a small, shadowy figure on the tile caught my eye. risking an avalanche of jeans, i crouched down to see what it was, and my curiosity was rewarded with a plastic figurine of a lucha libre wrestler that looked a lot like these, sans cape:
i picked the yellow-clad fellow up and tapped on the office window with his head to get patricio's attention. wagging mr. buttertights around, patricio's face registered confusion and then amusement. where did he come from? he'd obviously over-shot his leap from the ring and vaulted himself over our patio wall.
i went back to retrieve the duvet cover again, and yet another dark little form was there, supine under the clothesline. it became clear that buttertights' opponent, maniacal clown wrestler, was not going to let the round end in forfeiture.
but oh, how unfortunate was their plight. after depositing the laundry inside, i had them kiss and make up.
their origins are still a mystery; there aren't any little kids living in our neighboring houses. no one has come to claim them, either, so i'm allowing myself to call those little guys mine. i like to think of their stealthy nighttime appearance as an extension of the good omen i was offered a few years ago: at a new year-ish concert in the mercury lounge, the lead singer passed a paper bag full of surprises around the crowd, on the condition that we wouldn't peek when pulling out our prize, and with the request that we figure out what it meant for us. my hand was destined for a small, plastic action figure of a bat-lady-wrestling thing with wings as big as her inch-and-a-half, bowlegged body. i was completely stumped.
but in light of everyday life and love and learning, then and now, i've now decided that it and my new wrestling buddies speak and remind me of this: that much like lucha libre fights, a lot of my silent, internal wrestling matches are founded on silly and artificial pretexts, but those inner-struggles still hold the potential of art form, of producing something of value in the end. it's what i hope for, anyway.
so thanks, mr. buttertights, for literally dropping by.