Coin-Op Laundromat

6 bucks? 

Jesus

Where's the change machine 

"You all good?"

A woman no older than my mother,

No longer beautiful, doubtful she was ever beautiful.

Say yeah I think I'm good.

"Let me know if I can help you out."

Say I think I can handle it thanks.

"Most people don't know how to work these things anymore."

 

How hard can it be?

 

Hot water, medium load;

Detergent is another buck twenty-five.

Start.

No place to sit except thin aluminum benches.

A hick with a cigarette in her mouth carries two trash bags,

A little boy wears a Batman mask and stares at me. 

His mom is playing Angry Birds.

Fox News is on the TV.

I try to hide behind my book. 

Twenty-five minute cycle takes forty.

 

Stop.

Unload.

Another six bucks. 

Start. 

 

Why's it making that noise?

Fuck that's not a dryer.

Stop the cycle.

Find a dryer.

Drip water across the laundromat.

Another six bucks.

"Did it not drain right?"

Say I confused a washer with a dryer.

Most people don't know how to use these things anymore.

 

Spin cycle hot. 

I forgo dryer sheets.

Start.

 

I don't care to sit on the thin aluminum bench with Batman.

Stand on the curb watching cars go by faster than they should. 

Hick with the cigarette lights it in my face. 

The sun is already setting.

 

Stop.

Unload. 

I'll fold them at home.

The bell on the door jangles as I flee.

"I called my manager, he said to give you your money back."

Her hands are full of change. 

You did that for me?

"I can just reset the machine. You take care, sweetie."

Say thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.

 

Toss my hot clothes into the car.

The truth is I don't need the money,

Clean clothes and coins both get lost in the backseat. 


 
seb.jpg

Sebastian is a poet in search of new vices.