Listen to the Post
Every Sunday, I do the laundry. No exception. There is a Laundromat round the corner down my street. Actually, it would be unfair to call this shop a Laundromat; it’s more than that. It’s a meeting place for many. Even might be a psychotherapy session for some. I can say I’m familiar with many people there; I don’t even know the names of some in there,though.
My neighborhood is cosmopolitan like any other New York neighborhood. I’m a good observer, and I can say most of the community is made up of Spanish speaking people. The Irish and Koreans follow them. The others include Armenians, Turks, Greeks, and Serbians etc. If you speak to them one-on-one, they would say they are different. Maybe they are. However I believe they are all the same in many ways. No need to say, I ‘m happy with these all people and my neighborhood. I learned a lot and still I’m learning from these people. Maybe it’s the luck for the US to have such a variety of people and contribute to the common fortune with their culture and intelligence. Anyway, this article does not aim at detailing the community. I just wanted to give you an idea of the setting where I live.
I greeted Maria, the landlady when I entered the Laundromat. There were four aisles in a large open space in the Laundromat. I also threw greetings to some I know asked how they felt tonight. It was too crowded as usual. I had to push people aside to go ahead to the empty machines. Sometimes others do the same to me while I fill up the machines. Yelling about and curses are also common stuff you can observe in the Laundromat. And even fights.
After a long struggle, I could reach two empty $2.5 machines. Those machines are my faves, Cos they are far from the crowd and it is possible to look and observe other people from there. I started sorting out color and white clothes. Just then, I saw Hector showed up next to me. He turned to be kind of mad once he saw me in front of the machines. I forgot to tell that those two machines are also Hector’s faves. So you can imagine we always compete with each other to grab the machines first; and tonight was my day. I should confess I like seeing his face mad at me, and I’m sure he feels the same when he comes earlier than me.
Let me leave Hector alone with his agony and continue telling a typical Laundromat night I usually spend. I remember I heard a shrill yell from a woman across the aisle I’ve been. I thought it was kind of a nuke assault. The woman’s following words gave me the idea of what was going on: “This is the third time you’re doin’it. Stop rubbin’against me, you pervert!”
The Rubbing Guy: “I didn’t do it, you b…h!”
The Woman: “Stop saying lies. I know you. Last week you did it again, but I stayed calm. I will not keep silent anymore!”
The Ribbing Guy: “What are you talking about. Go and f..k yourself!”
The Woman: ”O.K. Stay here now. I ‘l call the police. You ‘ll tell the story to them”
The man replied he was not scared of than ad advised (!) the lady to go and do (f-word) it again.
After the woman went out, my eyes were on the man as I was curious if he would wait for the police arrive. My curiosity did not last long since the guy disappeared in no time.
There was another guy to my right. He was tall and in his work-out clothes. He was dialing his cell phone. He started speaking in a coarse voice: “Sweetheart, you should’ve seen it here…There was a woman shouting and cursing to a man…”
He was telling the incident to his lover. I took out my clothes and piled in the cart and carried it to the other aisle to find a vacant dryer. on the large screen TV hung over the machines “Nuesta Belezza Latina” show started. Many women in the Laundromat seemed to like watching this show. It was a beauty contest and the channel was a Spanish speaking one (As you can guess the name of the show). I must admit I never saw so many beautiful girls under the same roof before. That makes me like the show of course.
Finally I found an empty dryer and started it after loaded with wet clothes. Just then a guy was speaking to his friend and telling marriage killed love. He continued and began telling his friend a joke aloud regarding bad impacts of the marriage. It was really good though. Here it is:
<<A lion was getting married. At his wedding was a mouse shouting away and congratulating the lion: “All the best, my brother. Good luck.”
Seeing the mouse shouting away claiming that the lion getting married is his brother, another Lion grabs the mouse in anger and asks: “Who the hell do you think you are? How can a lion be your brother? You are only a mouse.”
The Mouse replies: “I, too, was a Lion before I got married.>>
Having dried the laundry, I was folding clothes and putting them into the bag. A guy at the entrance was in quarrel with Maria. Maria said he came after the last admission hour. The guy looked drunk and he was trying to convince Maria that her clock was showings wrong. He even proceeded saying his watch was the most accurate one in the neighborhood. Everybody started laughing at the drunk guy and his futile show. Maria let him in, though.
I finished my laundry and put my bags in to the cart to take them home. I saw the guy speaking to his darling on the phone regarding the rubbing incidence. He was speaking to the phone and looked kind of in rush. He shouted to the phone: ”Yea I’m right on 43rd. Come here quick please!” Obviously, he was expecting to meet his lover. I looked at the door and an old woman entered the Laundromat. ”No that can’t not be his lover.” I said to myself. Then another person went in. But it was a guy not a woman. The cell phone guy shouted: ”Yea, I’m here honey!” The guy entered the Laundromat ran to the cell phone guy and they started kissing each other to everyone’s surprise in the room. When I left the Laundromat and said bye to Maria, I was thinking it was almost impossible for one to dismiss all stereotypes and it was just another interesting and fun laundry night to me!