Monday, December 6, 2010

True Romance


I don't have a washer dryer in my apartment. I got the apartment 7 months ago because it had a hookup for a washer and dryer. Specifically.
And I still haven't gotten one yet. 

So I've been going to the laundromat. 
My favorite part of the laundromat is the old people. Its like a casual meeting place 
for them. They chat and wash, and chat and dry, and chat and fold. They try to 
chat with the young people there as well. 
I find them so interesting. I imagine that they have some incredible stories to tell.

Today there is an old married couple here. They are folding thier crisp white 
sheets together. Teamwork at 88 years old. They are strangely silent and 
methodical about it. Looking into each others eyes and predicting the other's next arm 
movement to fold the queen size bottom sheet. They know each other so well they 
don't even need to speak. They are content in their silence and the constant 
swishing of the washers behind them. 
I want to take their photo so badly but I thought it might infringe on their 
laundry date. They leave and I am lonely for some strange reason.
Sometimes I think of the laundromat in a negative way.  I am not sure why but I
feel like it has a strange stigma attached. Am I right?
The thing is the laundromat is awesome. It actually takes the edge off a bit. 
Makes me calm. 
The constant sound of the dryers humming soothes my nerves in this insane town. 
It forces you to breathe and relax and wait. 
You certainly can't leave with a hamper full of soaking wet clothes. 
Calm down. Relax. You release yourself to the Maytags. 
You have no control until the cycle is done. 
Its quite refreshing. 

And romantic. Old couple is back...she in her hot pink fleece with bifocals 
hanging on a multicolored string around her neck. He, in a zip up grandpa sweater and loafers. Both with 
tufts of grey hair atop their heads.  They are folding the small stuff now. 
She just took off her fleece to reveal a denim jacket with kitty cats 
embroidered on it. Awesome. 

I keep contemplating trying to talk to them and find out their story. But I 
chicken out. Then she speaks to me!!! She asks to borrow a quarter because her 
husband took her pink coat w the change in it to the car! 
I of course lend the change. 
And she insists I NOT leave until she gives it back to me. "A quarter is a 
quarter. I owe it to you." she exclaims.
I say no worries and insist she would do the same for me. 
I am a bit embaressed because I am dressed like a slob. My Nana would totally reprimand me for my outfit 
and I am sure this Grandma was thinking the same thing.
"You are such a pretty girl, why are you dressed like a bum?"
When her love returns she requests that he re-pay me. He reaches into his sweater pocket and pulls out 
a dime. "Whoops, I don't want to shortchange the lovely young lady" he says. 
I want him to be my Grandpa. 
They are standing watching the dryers now. Kind of impatient for old people I'm 
thinking to myself. But I guess the minutes matter more to them. 
They stand there. Staring. Watching the clothes go 'round and 'round.

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