Saturday, December 26, 2009

dirty laundry

Laundromats may just be one of the most interesting places in the world. The universe, even. Fuck that.

The galaxy. I'm feeling adventurous today.

Not only is fabric softener one of my most favorite smells in the world, this is an excellent excuse to watch people in a habitat that says a lot about their personality. The clothes they wash are a reflection of who they are of course; the gangsta in the corner folding out ninety of his best do rags and waiting for his rocawear puffy fur lined jacket to be released from the royalty wash of clothes, the dry cleaner; the hipster girl separating her black plaid button downs from her red ones; the mexican mothers folding mountains of clothing (literally... they are taking up two folding benches and they are still waiting for their other dryers to be done) and letting their children eat candy and swordfight in the aisles of washing machine glory...

I have been washing and drying for a long time, it seems. The last time I had a washer/dryer set was the first apartment in buckhead, near six years ago now. The one I had in boston didn't count, as I figure the point of naming something is if it lives up to that name. Just as a slut should have previously slept with several of your or your friends boyfriends, a dryer should actually dry the material within its boxed-up stature. I did, however, figure out how to get quarters for free from it, which I promptly used at the coin-op down the road. It was a good means to an end.

The convienience of having the pair is amazing. You rarely ever have to break out the febreeze just so people don't think you live next to a landfill nor do you really have to spot clean a pair of pants to try and release the two-week spaghetti sauce stain that you swore you were going to take care of the next day. It's literally a wash and go deal when its right there.

But the laundromat. That's a welcome inconvienience to me.

Yes, it can be expensive, and of course, time consuming. But it does lend you a couple hours to yourself, and let's you dive into that book you've wanted to finish or, in my case, be the girl who watches you as you gingerly fold your hanes so there are no wrinkles to grace your ass. Among the many things I've seen inside:

-several parents beating their children (although I think the cocktail of twizzlers, gummi bears, and four orange sodas had something to do with the catalyst and really, its not the kids fault)
-a breakup over the phone
-a breakup over the phone and the girl screaming at the top of her lungs, "I may have hooked up with him but at least you never had to clean the fucking skid marks off my underwear you piece of shit!"
-someone trying to clean bloodstains out of a bedsheet and eventually throwing it away. I don't even want to know anything about that one.
-a couple get engaged (technically it was outside of the actual place on a restaurant patio, but still)
-someone watching porn on their phone (mobile porn: masturbation of the future?)

So I've seen quite a bit, here, in this fishbowl of downy goodness. But definitely not as much as the laundry ladies, who wash and dry complete random stranger's clothing every day. Wash, dry, repeat. Wash, dry, repeat. I even fell culprit to this convienience. No matter if you love the fresh-smelling people watching atmosphere, we all have to go to work at some point, and new york city keeps you busy. So I dropped my clothes off to 'mia' or 'selena' (if those are their real names) and went about my busy day.

I didn't realize that this is a very odd practice until recently. I don't know if we understand how personal our clothing is. We wear it every day, this colorized sheild to the world. It can be a defense or an enticement, and we make that decision based on our feelings that moment. It is a tangible manifestation of our emotions, or more significantly, who we are. These women look into our lives, and we hand it over willingly. Its a bounty prostitution ring and the fuzzy little bear is our pimp.

These women know our styles. Metalhead. Businessman. Professor. Thug. Ballerina. Hipster. Housewife. None of us the same but with patterns of our lifestyles evident in all cycles of cold or hot wash. These women know if your businessman husband wears briefs and that he likes to fuck you in crotchless panties. These women know if you have bullet shells or paintbrushes in you pockets, if you wear magnum XL's or trojan 'just your size' condoms, or if you accidently sharted yourself laughing when you watched it's always sunny in philadelphia last Thursday. It's quite amazing, really. They will probably know more about you after doing your laundry than a friend will know before you die.

Maybe we should be more careful with our personal lives. Protect the sheilds that protect us on an everyday basis. It's not bad for me because I don't mind keeping to myself, no matter if it's at a laundromat, bar, or washing my own panties. Id like to kow my armour is keeping my secrets safe with me.

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