On Laundry.

Paul L. Bucklaw
5 min readJul 12, 2022

So my ex-girlfriend and I needed to do some laundry and decided to visit the laundry-instead of doing the laundry as we usually did in the basement.

It would be a family outing except without the cats. Wonder if they would have any fun watching the clothes getting tossed around in the washing machine. Tiger loved snuggling into warm freshly laundered clothes-that I do know.

We were doing this because it was an attempt to help a local businessman that she had known from school.

As we approached, we could see the broken sign where the name of a business should be, the cigarette butts scattering the front door, the dirty carpet runner and a broken lawn chair. WOW! This was better than I thought.

Upon entering you would see two huge aquariums covered in algae bloom and a fish that was waiting to die and hoping for a better life in the next world. And then you would see the slime encrusted, buckling floors, forming some kind of pyramid in the middle of the room. The carpeting should hide all this. None of these that had been maintained in years, in the background a Pac Man machine-unplugged and dusty, streaks covering the screen where someone once tried to clean it and got tired. Over there some badly abused and soiled, massage chairs and the mop in the filthy mop bucket with wretched water. Funny it didn’t smell like a laundry. So my friend and I sat in/on the duct tape covered loveseat and because we were in love and since we were in the pre-smartphone era we had a conversation and then dragged our duffle bags of laundry up three flights of stairs into the apartment after we done.

Years later I would remember this man and his place and wonder if anything had ever changed. Not really, he loved vacillating from cursing out his customers while discussing politics to not caring that he was failing to looking at the other women that passed by and then for our entertainment value embark on stories of his homeland and his waking up at 5 A.M. to go marching with his fellow students for twenty miles. all without food and then a invisible bongo recital would begin. And of course the food was always better and it was a shame that he had ever come to this country and have his aunt sell him a laundromat.

Paul L. Bucklaw

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