Friday, May 05, 2006

Laundry Nazi


I have a feeling the Laundromat guy doesn’t like me. It’s in his eyes, I can tell. He’s short and Asian, Chinese or Korean maybe, and always wears the same thing: khaki's and a corduroy button up, beige and blue. Everyday. I’d gauge his age as middling; he’s got crows feet, but no gray hair, and he takes ten or fifteen cigarette breaks a day. I know because I see him when I’m walking past, on my way to the city or on my way to the bodega or maybe just on my way away like, to space or to the moon or to heaven or some shit. The mat’s only a few doors down, in the direction of all the subways, so I always have to go past him to go anywhere.

He doesn’t look me in the eye when I ask for change. Just today I did a few loads, and when I went up and handed him my six dollars for change he just snatched it quick and dumped a handful of silver in my hand. Fool didn’t bother looking up, he just stared at the tiny Tide detergent boxes, then the quarters, then the bills I forked over, and that’s it. It wasn’t like he was distracted neither, and just moving out of natural habit or reaction. No, it was as if he didn’t want to look at me, as if it gave him great pains to even acknowledge that I stood there. Like I was some sort of curse or nightmare that if you ignored would go away.

And forget about asking him for additional change. Christ that would be like asking him to cut off a toe. When I had to break another buck because the dryer, apparently in cahoots with the evil Laundromat dude, decided that drying my colors was too taxing a task and put forth an effort the equivalent of an ant farting on only select fibers (wow that was a stupid simile), his face practically broke down in a fit of exasperation. I might as well have not asked to break a dollar, but his wiry little legs instead.

Its not just when I’m at the ‘mat too. He takes the opportunity to silently abhor me any chance he gets. Those times I walk past him while he’s sucking down a stick of nicotine, on my way to wherever to do whatever with god knows who, he doesn’t look at me in the eye, but sneers at me with his shoulders. It’s a subtle, biting gesture that I can tell he wants me to notice, and it hits me softly; a small movement, like I was reaching out to him for forgiveness or sympathy and he was quietly turning away with scorn. What an asshole.

What really gets me is that he treats L-swivel like a goddamn mafia don. She can’t break his fucking window without getting a thank you gift basket. Its like he owes her money, the way that douche bag fawns all at her heels. Not that I mind him treating my lady like a princess, but doesn’t even a hint of that respect extend to her lowly lover? I guess not according to Laundromat dude or the laws that govern his fortress of soap and spin cycles. Nope, to him I’m a piece of shit, and a really chunky, peanut filled, annoying one at that.

Whatever. I mean, really, why do I need his validation? He just runs the neighborhood Laundromat, its not like he owns the corner bodega (oh man, being on the wrong side of the bodega guy is like living above a pizza parlor during an Arizona summer while lactose intolerant and suffering from yet another herpes outbreak, or being in a sleeping bag with your grandfather. you pick). Let him adore my girlfriend and loathe yours truly. I don’t care. As a matter of fact, I’m going to get my change one dollar at a time in five minute increments and just “hang out” for a few hours next time I do a bag of dirty duds. That’s right, the Laundromat dude and me are going to get to know each other. We are going to spend some quality time figuring out one another’s angles. I might even flirt with his wife. Heh heh. Yeah, she’s got a huge, sagging, old Asian lady ass too. Shit, come to think of it, I’m going to start soiling my clothes now.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.