I hate dirty linen, the kind that one sometimes finds on a makeshift holiday bed, but also the emotional kind. It makes one feel just as dirty. I know that linen getting dirty is inevitable, but that is what washing machines are for. Sometimes sheets get stained, and one can’t get the stain out without rubbing a hole in the linen, but a stain is not necessarily dirty.
“The sheets were white and felt slightly starched; he imagined that they smelled of fresh air and even the sea-salt. He moved down into their clean whiteness, scissoring his legs like a swimmer, abandoning himself to them, floating free.” (From ‘Possession,’ a novel by AS Byatt, so beautifully written it makes my heart ache. It also won the Booker Prize.)