The spinning made her dizzy, like the Brooklyn Bridge Park Carousel. It spun round and around, quickly and dexterously, becoming a blur, a finger painting of colors, registering in her amygdala as one endless tie-died ribbon, like the carousel. It smelled old in here, like 1970, but she couldn't be sure, she hadn't been born yet. She didn't like coming here, but she didn't have a washer and dryer in her apartment. After all, it was her first home, her first adult digs post college.
Maybe she'd read a book while she waited. The cast of characters at the laundromat were an interesting melange of eccentricities. The old hispanic woman in the corner, always sitting in the same manner, in the same corner, counting what seemed to be black beans in her hand, one-by-one, one, two, three, four...Then there was the couple - she could tell, newly dating, too handsy and excited to be at the laundromat, too in love, too cute for the laundromat. She immediately knew that she was jealous.
It was so stale in here, stark, opaque from the oldness. The humming of all the appliances eventually became a blanket of white noise. She didn't like white. It was so medicinal, and proper, and always reminded her of sitting in the doctors office, waiting for her prognosis. -NJ
I love the lazy spinning and the way my clothes flop helplessly, the up and down a forced meditation, for a moment anyway. I love the smell and the uniformity of the smell, the chemical clean something to count on in a world where every surface is covered in shit, which I wish I didn't know. I love the forced intimacy, this strange man beside me saw me drop my period panties and there's nothing to do but act like it didn't happen, I guess. It's funny what becomes normal and abnormal with the times, or with American-ness, or whatever. Waste is a secret, covered up with chemicals and bleached white porcelain but by all means, wash your dirty bras and underwear and yellowed wifebeaters in the company of strangers, in close quarters! What about New York doesn't occur in close quarters?
What is with all of the romantic comedies that begin with love in the laundromat? Surely they weren't thinking of my laundromat in Brooklyn, surely not one of these in any of these boroughs where nobody wants to look anybody in the eye, or everybody with the means just drops it off, pay by the pound. Mine is a thin slice of Bed Stuy, a shotgun house, a shithole, basically, but it's close and it gets the job done. You have no choice but to graze the bodies of other launderers trying to get to your machine, trying to transfer your clothes, a stationary subway. I keep to myself, no love for me at the laundromat. I've become far too proud of myself for doing such a necessary, easy task, for everything that's routine everywhere else is made colossal, built up in the brain to be some large errand, something to be anxious about, here.