Sinking Correctly by Thomas Benfield

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Being in the other room, I could only imagine the look of the events that might match the sounds I heard. The sound was as much a distraction as sitcom walls teetering when its prop door shuts— bringing any semblance of alienation that the program might have brought to the world of the viewer also to a close.

The thud then the rattle I knew were the plastic handles on the laundry basket. They rattle because they’re the parts of the basket that were designed to break first— planned obsolescence it’s called. It’s disgusting but its brilliant too. They’re separate pieces and slightly accented with darker coloring than the single mould entirety of the rest of the basket. Those handle accents rattle when the basket drops on the carpet the same way that squirt guns rattle when they’re dropped in the yard. It’s that there’s plastic touching plastic, no cartilage for the joints.

Then there was cloth tumbling over itself into a heap. I suppose that the fabrics didn’t make the noise, really it must have been all of the air pockets in the folds escaping. When I think of the folds in a fabric heap I think of blood vessels also— pouch shapes all pressing into one another.

The last sound is also the climax of the whole event. Fuck, said defeatedly and aloud through a sand throat half asleep horse voice.

I imagine the room is lit from daylight framing the margins of the curtains. Mom has her headaches and so she bought dark curtains to set for them a more dramatic stage. I can imagine her uncomfortable sleep, too conventional ever to change from her day clothes until dinner is through, toppling the basket of laundry just folded as twilight sleep finally took her and woke her as it threw her leg and touched that teetering basket. Fuck.


Thomas Benfield

Thomas Benfield is a graduate of the New School’s documentary poetry concentration. He currently works and lives in Brooklyn, NY as a script writer for a forthcoming long-form biographical podcast.

Previous Publications
Thomas has been published in The New London Day, The Ibbetson Street Press, Eleven and a Half Journal, and Showbear Family Circus.

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Photo credit by Hans

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