Once again its Washday, and the old dude totes in the big laundry basket full of jeans, sweatshirts, polo shirts, bath towels, dish towels, and a whole platoon's worth of socks, and unmentionables. The place is empty, I'm alone with 20 money hungry washers, and 30 quarter gobbling driers.
Stoically I go about sorting the colored from the whites, and fill one, two, three--(sob)---four washers, My mind calculating the cost 5 quarters, 10 quarters, 15 quarters----no wanting to think about the cost of drying this mountain of laundry, but it has to be done---I have no choice. (outside clothes drying lines are banned in my neighborhood---and I know for a fact that there are several blue haired biddies who scour the neighborhood pretending to be exercise walking but are in reality, are patrolling the neighborhood, just waiting to spread the word about one or another infraction of the "standards" the neighborhood expects---these women can spread rumors faster than messages fly on the government's Milstar satellite system., and I really don't want to get cut off from the steady supply of cupcakes, pies and such that seem to come my way form these very same nice ladies. (I may be old but I am not stupid).
The Laundry sorted, loaded into the washers I reach for my supply of laundry soaps and bleaches------I blink uncomprehendingly at the bare table, no big box of tide, no bleach---and the terrible realization sinks in---I've failed to put them in the truck after loading the laundry----my stomach hurting, blinking moisture out of my eyes , grateful now that I am alone in the Laundromat--(an old man crying is just Way to pitiable a sight to be seen). I numbly review my choices. Should I drive back home, get my soaps and bleaches, round trip would be about 3 1/2 miles (gas at the station next door to the laundry telling me the cost today is $3.98/gal), and take about 15-20 minutes , but it would mean my laundry would be at the mercy of anyone walking into the store and helping themselves, and damn I got a new 35 dollar sweat shirt at risk.----My other choice--??--buy the required soaps and bleaches from the vending machine--at the cost of .75 cents per lil box required,---my shock melting into a body numbing masochistic mess---whats an old dude to do?
I numbly feed dollar bill , after dollar bill into the change machine, muttering not so inaudibly, calling myself some names which I am sure you all can pretty much figure out. Then go about pushing quarters into the soap dispensing vending machines, more quarters into the washers, by the time I have the last washer turned on and doing its thing, I am almost giddy with relief, I have my laundry in work, I am back on track----yeah, yeah a bit lighter in the wallet, but I'll give up my sweet roll at coffee tomorrow morning at the Friday meeting of the SOCDS----and with luck won't have to tap into next weeks allowance .
My wash churning dutifully, I walk across the street to the Chinese Donut-Bagel shop, get myself my regular large coffee, and return to the Laudramat, still have the place to myself. I get in a quick read of a chapter of my current book, ironically named , "Basket Case"by Carl Hiaasen----then have to move my washed goods into the dryers, --say goodbye to a lot more quarters-----and then approximately 45 minutes later, finish my fluff and fold for the week---- as I drive back to Matilija House, find myself taking some consolation in knowing in the long run my supply of soaps and bleaches (residing undisturbed in my garage, right next to the truck) will last just that much longer---although somewhere in the back of my mind have a nagging suspicion there is something wrong with this kind of thinking. I'm not gonna think about it---I've got blogging to do when I get home, I'll worry about fluff and fold next week.