Updated: Aug 22, 2022
A man somewhere (it was surely a man) built the alarm on my dryer. He listened to it, and he was satisfied. He then presented it to another man, perhaps even a group of men. Those men listened also. They considered it, looked at each other across a boardroom table, nodded, smiled, slapped each other on the back, and agreed.
They agreed that, that noise would be the best one. They were okay with putting a mechanism that made that noise into homes all over the country, maybe even the world. They all went home and lay their heads on their pillows that night. They slept soundly next to the love of their lives.
But the love of their lives had been betrayed. As those same men awoke, rested, and peaceful, they were traitors. Full of the vim and vigor that accompanies a job well done, a complex and essential project put snuggly to bed, they high stepped out to their cars. They put their keys into their ignitions and drove away without a single thought as to the fate of their wives and entirely without guilt.
And when they were gone, their unsuspecting wives went about their domestic duties innocently. They were as unsuspecting as I was, as I loaded my brand new dryer, set the timer, and went, valiantly, away to oversee and besiege.
An entire hour passed. Long enough to change lives for the better, educate children, lose oneself in profound and prophetic musings and forget, altogether, that time was running out, on the timer, only a few rooms away.
And then it came. It scraped its crooked claws along the wall as it shrieked down the hall like some demonic banshee. And when it found me, it grabbed hold of me, violently, around the neck and screamed into my face, eyes wide open!
My mind and body were awash with terror so black that inertia set in, and I reacted to the jolt of adrenaline by throwing my arms into the air. My very spirit was tumbling like the dryer, and I could smell its dryer sheet breath.
Everything that my mind held, all of my thoughts and dreams, all of my plans and focus, were all gone in one horrific second—stolen away by the sound! The sound that the men made!
I walked shakily to retrieve the dried clothes and face my demon, knowing that I would be his victim many times throughout that day and every day for the rest of my life.