I was 20. It is time to do the dreadful act of terrorising people and myself; dry my washed panties and bras on a clothesline in the terrace.
Is someone watching? I sneaked from my window. The neighbors were in their terrace drying Lapsi ko Maad and Masaura. Ugh! I can’t go down anymore. I turn my back to the window, and toss my black underwear and faded bra over the tap and leave wondering if the dark bathroom will show mercy to my wet lingerie.
Mommy, why can’t I dry my undies and bra in the sun? Sure, you can! Umm, I am not relieved with her responses. Still, why don’t I have the courage to walk to the terrace with confidence; unfold my made into a ball shape underwear and throw it over the clothesline with courage? Fuck, I can’t! Someone will be watching me, and they will assume I am an immoral person.
Anyways, I am fat and my underwear is size L. Such a huge grand ma’s underwear hanging will allow those people to form negative images about me? Maybe like a slut ( ouch).
The doctor tells me that I have a vaginal infection, and prescribes some ointment to smear on my vagina before going to sleep, and yes not to scratch it. Yikes! And she persisted that I wear cotton undergarments and dry them in the sun. WHATTT! Ugh, the sun again! The open terrace and lingering eyes start giving me a panic attack.
I scan the terrace; my eyes look for neighbors and those workers in the next building, all clear! Like a person who needs to rush to the bathroom to pee, I run to the terrace with a bucket full of underwears and bras! Mom screams from the kitchen, use the pegs, use the pegs otherwise the wind will blow away your undergarments like last week; last week; Ummm I don’t remember. I hurriedly picked up my underwears all tangled and scared that someone might see me, I fling one after the other without squeezing out the excess water. I did not even unfold it. It looked like the meat hung on a hook at a butcher’s meat shop. Someone is coming, I rush to the room. Left the bucket.
Now, I walk to the terrace, squeeze the excess water, pat it dry and drape it over the clothesline with love and care. I don’t care whoever is watching. If their eyes burn, let it be, If I am called an immoral woman, I will direct my finger to a neighbor whose wife hangs his v-shaped underwear in the sun without remorse.
What made me feel that way? What was I so ashamed about? Lingeries do not cause anxiety and apprehensions. Why did I hide the underwear under a towel? Is it because I was ashamed of my body? Is it because nipples and vaginas are those whose name cannot be taken? Were they controlling my body with their stare? Stares of unknown people!