“WHAT????” She hollered at me like I was asking her literally go to school naked.
I repeated myself calmly. “We need to use a laundromat” Although this time I made it clear “Our flat doesn’t have a washer and dryer so unless you’d like to live in filthy clothes and dry off with dirty towels we need to use a laundromat”.
Stomp. Turn. Slam door. Yup that’s the exact response I expected from a teenage girl.
I must admit, I like my laundromat, we’ve been coming here for about a year and a half. And pretty proud of the science I have it down to.
Although laundry is usually seen as the “endless chore” I have to say. Mine ends. Every weekend, which ever day I choose, after and hour and half and 6 loads. I’m free.
Sure it costs money, but like I said I have it down to a science. Plus I’m not using hot water or paying for the electric on my dryer. All in all, I’d say I’m pretty okay with it. Besides, I’ve learned greatly and quickly that it humbles you. Double time.
How did I end up here? I’ve had my share of crap dealt to me. But I’m skipping that novel and moving toward. A friend once posted a quote on my Facebook wall that “You can’t move on to the next chapter in your story if you keep reading the last. Well put? I thought so too.
I’ve watched single parents with small children here, even infants in car seats. Bringing me back to those moments of my life when my daughters where that age. Beautiful home, happy marriage I would have died if I had to lug my baby and all of our laundry here! But then I’m here now, and; just fine. So what was it in my life back then, that had me place so much judgement? Well, it was all the chapters I stopped reading that have me look at people around me quite a bit differently.
I’ve seen single people, young couples, older couples even restaurant owners doing their towels and aprons here. Week after week the same people. Basically were like regulars, there’s just no bar to sit at with a beer. Hey, now that gives me an idea.
You can always tell the ones who’s washer or dryer are currently broke. They usually walk I with a scared to death look upon them while trying to figure out how the system works while we basically dance circles around them completing out tasks with ease.
What has moved me the most are the spirits that come through here. Going about their daily chores, running errands between loads in the wash and the timed dryers. Making the most of their day just like the rest of us trying to make it through day by day. Work, kids, family, chores and repeat.
Or, they are the ones that are alone. No spouse, no significant other, no children. Minding their own business. Maybe they wear their headphones, work on their laptop, read, study or even pray. They are souls that have crossed my path I just haven’t been told why yet. But I watch, I listen, and I wait to learn.
From all the people I’ve met, I have to say the one I wonder about the most is Steve. Steve is a homeless man who comes in does his laundry, changes in the restroom and then washes his previously worn tattered layers of clothing. He had the kindest blue eyes, I’ve had several conversations with Steve. He’s spoke about his three daughters, his ex-wife whom he still loves, his past jobs, his travels, his alcoholism, his struggles in shelters and all the in-betweens. What I didn’t expect; was the worry that would cross me when I didn’t see him the next weekend. Where was he, and was he okay.