10 am on a Monday at the Wash N’ Go


    • Twenty dollars worth of quarters in your wallet feels like you’re carrying a brick
    • You could ditch the laundromat and go to Chuck E. Cheese.
    • Clean out the construction worker’s pockets: nuts and bolts, screw drivers, things you have no idea what they are, and sometimes, a box cutter, which is awkward in public. You stuff it down your pants until you can smuggle it to the car.
    • Clean out the smoker’s pockets: Lighters. And yet, he can never find one when he needs it.
    • Clean out the man’s pockets: Change. Dollar bills.
    • Claim anything useful.
    • Plot your course: The empty row of smaller washers or the three bigger washers spread around the laundromat.
    • Scout the competition: one Hispanic lady, one Hispanic lady and her daughter and a baby in a stroller, one white lady
    • Wonder why they’re not working
    • Wonder if they’re wondering why you’re not working
    • Wonder if you’ll ever find a job

  • Wonder if you’ll always be a person using a laundromat on a Monday morning
  • Shake your head, and start loading washer. The smaller ones.
  • You don’t trust anyone.
  • Drop a pair of scandalous underwear on the floor, and make eye contact with the solo Hispanic lady when you pick them up.
  • Fill the soap above the cap notches.
  • No one tells you what to do.
  • Synchronize the start of the washers like a missile launch, one minute or less between each.
  • Buy a Slurpee with the change from the man’s pockets.
  • Remember that you love Slurpees
  • Remember brain freeze
  • Find a warm corner and pull out a book, but before you open it, take a selfie.
  • Notice that one of the washers has one minute left.
  • Wonder why that one minute feels like a millennium
  • Wonder if you’ll ever be patient enough to have children
  • Wonder what made you think about children
  • Wonder when your next period is due
  • Wonder if you put on deodorant
  • Remove the jeans from the first washer and discover you missed a lighter
  • Push the metal basket on wheels with just your feet. Narrate your progress aloud.
  • Guesstimate the time on the dryers, then put in an extra quarter to be safe.
  • Check the dryers compulsively, removing random items that feel dry.
  • Fold his underwear.
  • Toss yours in the basket.
  • Meticulously fold the t-shirts, an homage to your time in retail.
  • Stack the clothes in the basket they came in
  • Wish you’d gone a little slower folding the clothes
  • Wish you knew one of the other ladies
  • Wish you knew what you were doing


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