Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dirty Laundry

I've tweeted about our washing machine breaking down and how having to do our laundry at the laundromat is, well, a unique experience.

Except for vacation, when we don't have unbridled access to Grandpop Pete and Nana's facilities, - and even then we use the hotel's washers and dryers - we haven't been inside a laundromat for years and years. Things really haven't changed. Okay, the cost of doing a load of laundry is much higher - two bucks! - but you pretty much run into the same kind of people that you did all those years ago: people like me without an operating washer nearby due to whatever circumstances that have occurred in their lives. From the looks of things, our broken washer may be the least interesting story around.

With the Winter dark falling early, looking through the front glass of the laundromat is like looking at an Edward Hopper painting. Not quite Hemingway's clean, well-lighted place but a warm and damp, garishly lit place where things get clean. The variety of people that come is almost breathtaking; you wouldn't think that Oklahoma is home to so many people from so many other places. Hispanic, Asian, goodness knows what else - it's almost like the cantina scene from Star Wars only with the slush and swirl of washers and dryers playing in the background instead of music.

Sears has ordered parts and has slotted us for January 4th for the big repair so I figure I've got one more visit to go. I miss having the easy access to a washing machine - if something needs washing, it'll have to wait until my next trip out - but there's something to be said about being able to get 8 loads of laundry washed in 30 minutes. The universe wheels as it should so a broken washer is a teeny tiny thing; if this is the worst we have to endure then we'll gladly do it. And though I hope I don't have to return to a laundromat for many years, I have to admit, going to the laundromat hasn't been an entirely negative experience.

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