VANNESSA BARNIER

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LAUNDRY

When I watch my laundry get tossed around in the machine and the soapy water is
draining down the glass going-inward, I want to drink it. I want to get my hands on that
shit. One time I was at a Laundromat that I’m not allowed to go to anymore and let me
explain why that is. I was at the Laundromat with someone I don’t see anymore and I put
my clothes in a machine without reading the instructions and you lock the door before
hitting the settings which I think is weird and also ended up fucking me over but let me
explain hold on.
So I put my clothes in a machine and the door locked and I selected the colour of my
clothes which was a majority I guess it was just an estimate of what colours were in there
and the light went on and it said HOT and my eyes went wide and I froze. I decided
those clothes were gone and I moved on to my second load. I put my other clothes in the
other machine and the door locked and I thought that if I chose colours last time that if I
chose whites it would be cold instead of hot and I was wrong because when the light went
on it said VERY HOT and I yelled NO and I grabbed onto the door with both of my
hands and put my foot against the machine and pulled very hard and I broke the door
and it opened and my clothes were saved. The person with me stood between me and the
security camera and I didn’t even ask them to. They did it automatically. I had to go back
there to get my clothes after but I felt scared. I can’t go back there anymore and I don’t
see that person anymore either. Now I sit in another Laundromat and think about that
time at the other Laundromat and I don’t feel anything except a hunger for the soapy
water that drains down the glass going-inward and I want to drink it so bad but I don’t
want to rip another door open and not be allowed to go to another Laundromat in this
city.
Not that I’m afraid of running out of Laundromats because let’s be honest there are so
many but there aren’t that many that are close to me and I can say that about a lot of
things.

EVERYBODY

Everybody has the ability to contact me and they’re not.
Everybody is a little tired, especially lately.
Everybody tells me jokes and I suffer their humour.
Everybody kisses not me.

- I’m a bit of a menace!
- To who?
- Everybody.

It’s taking a long time but I’m growing a calcium spot out.
I don’t think it’ll be much longer, now.
I’d tell you more about it but that’s the long version already.

Everybody checks their Instagram.
Everybody has skin care advice.
Everybody borrows my money.
Everybody pays me back.

- You’re late!
- It’s 7:00pm.
- If you had been early, we could’ve had a table.
- I am on time.
- I am mad!

I take a long time in the shower and get annoyed halfway through.
I wish it didn’t take so long to transport my body to the event.
Movement is the most cumbersome necessity.

Everybody does bad stuff.
Everybody finds out.
Everybody has a want.
Everybody has a threshold.

 
 
 

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Vannessa Barnier is an instigator and facilitator, the host of the Legible Intelligibles reading series, a bookseller at House of Anansi, coordinator of poetry workshops, and an attendee of the 2019 Juniper Summer Writing Institute intensive. Vannessa lives, works, and screams in Toronto.