Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I judge homeless people... even when they're not homeless

Taken from scribblings in my notebook last week:

The clothes dryer at home is really screwy right now… it doesn’t get hot, so clothes generally take about 3 days to dry. I need clean clothes before then, so I’ve taken all my dirty clothes (which basically consists of ALL my clothes) to the laundromat up the street. I had a huge laundry basket full and a large trash bag full. Just getting them in the door was a task. I love it how people will stare at you struggling when you obviously need an extra hand, and continue to stare like you’re disrupting them or something. It really helps.

The only guy in the place is an elderly gentleman who looks homeless. He’s balding and has a patchy beard and dirty-looking clothes on. I suppose it could just be laundry day for him and he is, indeed, not homeless, but whatever, we’ll just assume he was and is homeless.

I looked fantastic. I had on a once-red now ruined-with-blue-dye zip-up sweatshirt, old jeans that are torn near the crotch and turquoise crocs. It. Was. Fabulous. I am a fashion felon.

I start sorting through my laundry: whites, blacks and colors. I put the detergent in the washer and then throw in a white wash. I start rummaging through my wallet and discover that I only have 4 one-dollar bills and a twenty. The washer is $2 to start. I easily have about 4 loads for the washers. I frantically look around the small room for a change machine, but, OF COURSE!, it only accepts one-dollar bills. The homeless guy noticed that I did not posses the correct increments of change, but said nothing… continued to pretend to read his Forbes Magazine. “I could ask the homeless guy for some money” I thought… wait a minute, did I just say that?! That makes absolutely no sense. But I tried it anyway: “You wouldn’t happen to have change for a twenty, would you?” He replied, “No. Sorry.” “Who has change for a twenty, right?!” I exclaimed. He said matter-of-factly, “Maybe last year”, a reference to our horrible economy that people blame for everything. I snorted a small chuckle and exiting the building.

When I turned around, I read the large sign above the rows of washers:

“Absolutely no greasy clothes washed in machines.

Please do not leave clothes in washers or dryers unattended.”

“Fuck.” I thought. “I hope I didn’t put my white clothes in a greasy washer. Sick” I went back and forth in my head about the situation. I could empty out the washer and put ALL my clothes back in the car and drive to Plaid Pantry for change. I could leave everything and get change. I could just say fuck it, and drive home and never do laundry again. Woe is me! I finally decided that mulling it over was taking forever and the homeless guy was beginning to scare me. I bravely left all my clothes in the laundromat and calmly got into the car and started the engine.

The whole time I spent in the car and I was imagining the homeless guy saying, "Jackpot!! What a moron! She left her expensive clothes here! With me: THE HOMELESS GUY! Muhahahahahaha! Idiot."

I decided speed was the only way to thwart the homeless guy's plans to steal my clothes and sell them for crack (did I mention he's a crackhead, too? Becuase he is... in my head). I got to the conveinence store in about 2 seconds flat and ran (literally ran) into the store and bought a pack of smokes and asked for the $16 change to be all ones... I figured, who knows how much this is going to cost? Better get as many ones as possible. The cashier looked at me weird and I looked at him weird, and he gave me the change. I walked back to the car (I forgot I was in a hurry) and returned to the laundromat to find that my clothes were completely untouched and sitting in the exact same place they were before. I washed my laundry and returned home with a mountain of clean clothes. My roommate asked, "How your experience with the laundromat go?"

I replied, "Fine."

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