I Measure Time by Haircuts and Laundry Cycles

I’ve lived in New York for 74 washing cycles. Not two of them were the same.

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Photo by Kolar.io on Unsplash
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Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Keeping a tactile memory was the only way I remembered it all, and made sense of it all.

The reason I preferred to measure time this way on top of the standard units like weeks and months was that it turns time into a tactile memory. If you ask me what I did this exact time last week, the memory might not come back right away, but my body remembers vividly the last time it shoved a thick sweater into the washer to fit a load, or the last time I got burned from touching the metal button on my jeans fresh out of the dryer. Moving to a completely different country intensifies your sense of touch. It’s like a fish out of water would suddenly get hyper-aware of the surface it touches because that isn’t water anymore. Everything I touched, every person’s hand I shook, the environment I lived in — everything was foreign. Keeping a tactile memory was the only way I remembered it all, and made sense of it all.

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Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash
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Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
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Photo by Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

Living a dual identity is like constantly entering a washing cycle.

I’ve lived in New York for 74 washing cycles. Not two of them were the same. I hope the next one will be so different that everything actually returns to its normal state. Never has normalcy felt so much like a luxury. A few washing cycles from now, I see myself roaming the beach of Miami, something that’s been in my plans for weeks. Another few washing cycles from then, I see myself eating Vietnamese food on the streets of Hanoi. With a fresh haircut, of course. The tropical climate is never kind to my porcupine hair.

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In a constant search for something mind-blowing // IG: littlepotatow

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