26 july 2018

It's 7:33pm as I begin drafting this, and I'm sitting alone in a laundromat. There's a telenovela on. This little waiting area with rows of white plastic bucket seats has framed posters on its fuschia wall: Star Wars (1977), The Wizard of Oz, the Beatles, and the Rat Pack. We haven't used a laundromat since Fitchburg, and my spouse was confused by the reloadable money card system they have here; he thought the card readers on the machines would accept my debit card and I assumed he was right, so we tried it. It's a more cheerful place than the one in Fitchburg, which is nice because I'm certain there are people who spend a good chunk of their lives here.

My spouse & my sister came back from the corner store with a little black plastic bag full of snacks. Other spouse is at home with our child, who was settling into bed when we left home. There is a near-constant rattling of coins deposited into the vending machines behind me as children and grown-ups buy candy bars, chips, soda… They have Almond Joy, but I don't have the right change.

The ceiling fans are spinning. A variety of plastic plants decorate the place. A doorway by some dryers leads to a small room painted as an underwater scene with tropical fish; there are two big bean bag chairs on its floor. A sign painted on the wall by the doorway reads, "HAVE FUN!" At the other end of the room a glass door guards a prominently labeled water filtration system.

Near the front door is a claw machine full of plushies; if I were to play I'd be going for the Nintendo Goomba.

Now it's getting dark outside, but the sign outside that says "WASH, DRY, FOLD" is brightly lit.

I love porch lights and old lampposts and all manner of lights that hum and attract moths at dusk. I love the fragile little kingdoms of corner stores and out-of-the-way gas stations and barely-functioning Dairy Queens that we build as ineffective beacons in the night.

I'm thinking of our brief visit to Asheville, NC, now, of the insect chorus at night and of Cheerwine, of bluegrass in the park and the anarchist bookstore & café co-op.