The hum of the coin laundry, was soothing. I was soothed by the hum of the whole place. It smelled like fresh washing and was clean. It had plants that needed watering, ( I checked the dirt). It was a newer laundry place, with state of the art washers, they talked to you and everything. They said your load is locked in and your now finished and stuff like that. I looked around at the black man with his little girl. They both looked calm and serene, her sipping on a Coca-Cola, like it was a real treasure,treat. Later she helped her dad fold her laundry, loking like the world's best little kid to me. Never taking her lips off the straw, the whole time she was in the laundry matt, other than to fold. Her dad listlisly looking at the last dryer to be dried in front of him, probably counting down the minutes, with his eyes on the digital readout, on the display.
I said to the man with the bicycle and cart, " hey, go flames go" when I noticed he had a Calgary Flames hockey team shirt. He told me how he had just found it in the garbage. It only had a little hole in the back, he said to me, and that he wanted to give it to a ten or eleven year old. Some one that would appreciate it, even if it had little hole in it. It was quite a nice shirt and in its day had to be worth about a hundred dollars. I wondered what other delightful things he found, on his daily cycling tours. He had quite a collection in front. I didn't want to pry and ask what else he had. None of this not even, the test to see if the 25 cent dryer, was a better deal than the dollar dryer, could pry me away from this fabulous afternoon at the cleaners. By the way two dollars, the clothes are still wet, while the dollar seventy five, dry as a bone. The past faced bicycle rider was deep into his washing when I saw the woman breeze through. She was cursing at the detergent she had in her hand saying that it was cheap and didn't work a darn. I didn't care, it was a people watching beautiful day, and I was going to enjoy it.
The woman walked by me twice saying " I'm so ashamed, yes I am ashamed". I wondered why she was ashamed, and gently and precisely folded my things. I folded them, the way my mom would have folded them. Nothing like I usually folded laundry. I was basking in the buzz of the facility, when the ashamed woman asked me for a dollar. I gave it to her. She snatched it out if my hand without a thank you. I thought, " maybe if she takes it really quickly from me, then she won't be as ashamed". I didn't care I had a few dollars left at the end of my drying,clothing, cycle and she looked like deserved, needed it. I almost lost my zen after that one cause for some reason I felt really sad for her. Mostly, because she was so ashamed that she couldn't even thank me. It didn't hurt my feelings, my feeling were hurt for her. I doddled on, and attended my belongings, like they were precious gowns, and silken things.
The man yelled, about how he did his laundry here every week, and couldn't he just have his beer, while his clothes dried? He looked like he really just did get off of work, and maybe had a little drinking problem but more of a dirty clothes problem, and that the two just weren't going together today. The little Chinese lady at the counter, where you bought dryer sheets, soap, and provided change for all if us ,without machines at home, said no to him. No he couldn't drink alcholol, in the store. I didn't let any of this ruin my zen time at the Laundry Matt.
After I folded my last item I looked around at the perfectly stacked, clean items, and said to myself that I must be crazy to think that I could enjoy this, bustle, and hustle, of the little storefront. Also, did anyone with out washing and drying clothes facilities, actually have a clue, what little serenity temples places like this could be?
I have mental health issues, I think everyone is nice, at first. I lend money to people, that don't pay it back. I stay friends with people, that drain the life out of me. I miss my family horribly, but never call them. I have never had a relationship, that lasted more than two years, with the other sex. Yes, I too have these malady of errors, in my life. It is amazing though, when you can get a little taste of heaven, in a down town metropolis. With a noise level of 8, on the octave scale I managed to find peace, and enjoy a chore that many hate. I spoke with strangers, about thier treasures, I did a good deed, I loved another human for no reason,( the little one with the straw). Most of all, I have done this weekly chore with a smile on my face. I can't be institutional at least. I wondered how, I could have possibly been, so stressed out at my last yoga class, and find such awareness for my fellow human beings, doing a human hygiene ritual. I've decided I will do laundry, twice a week, and cancel my meditation classes. Make sure you take my cherry advice though, spend the extra time folding like mom does. Not only is it soothing and relaxing, but you can bet you'll have no wrinkles in your clothes either. When you go to wear them. Peace be with you Sunlight, Tide, Borox, Fleecy, and Bounce. You are better than any meditation classes, ever could be.