The Weird Alternate Universe That is The Laundromat

laundromat no 2

I love going to the laundromat; it is like “me” time when it is not busy. Now when the laundromat is busy, it is a different story. A few weeks ago, I found the Hilton (or, at least, the high-end Holiday Inn) of laundromats.   It was a Saturday night, when I suppose other people actually have places to be, and I was able to do my laundry without much fanfare. I was able to read a book guilt-free; I mean what else are you going to do? The experience was truly relaxing and nothing out of the ordinary.

I went to the same laundromat a week later and it was a completely different story. The “mat” was full of people with LOTS of laundry. One couple was using eight double-capacity dryers….how many clothes is that? I cannot even imagine folding and putting all those clothes away. I can do all my clothes in a single load which is one advantage of living with less!!

So I made a beeline to the back of the mat by the dryers where no one else wanted to sit. It was too loud to read, so I have to come up with something else to do to take up the time. The day was grey and rainy, which made the overhead fluorescent lights seemed extra bright while the spinning ceiling fans made an eerie strobe light effect on the shocking light.

I became hypnotized by the circular hum of the dryers as the clothes crashed against each other like waves in the ocean. I have never seen a washer that was front loading, so I was completely enthralled with actually being able to watch my clothes being washed; going round in circles watching them spin, then fill with soapy water, and spin again. The surrounding sounds of voices turned to a dull murmur.

My world right now is definitely in flux. Moving from place to place and relying on the kindness of people I do not really know at first. Sleeping in guest rooms, sharing bathrooms, and living out of a tote are some of the things that are new to me. Yes, it is what I wanted but I never thought about all of the realities. It is all good, I am getting used to it but I realized that the little laundromat I visited felt like home. Most laundromats have the same industrial look to them and smell like dryer sheets and fabric softener. It was truly comforting. I actually looked for excuses to go back.

My newest realization is that no matter how adamant you are about leaving your past behind, you still inwardly long for those small vestiges of comfort or reminders of a different time. For me, right now, it is the laundromat that gives me a sense of home and roots. I know that sounds really strange but it is my truth for now. Here’s to clean clothes, the fresh smell of clean laundry and the feeling of home!!


Thank you for listening.


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