I like laundromats.

I don’t like them when they’re busy

and bustling with work-tired waitresses,

starving artists,

or old women with threadbare pensions.

But I like them on a warm Monday afternoon

when everyone else is wasting away at work.

I like the watery swish and swoosh and woosh

of my clothes as they sud and spin.

I like the satisfying hum of whirring industrial dryers.

And I like the colorful, uncomfortable plastic bucket seats

bought from some secondhand furniture store

20 years before.


I even like the fluffy grey dust and cobwebs

that have settled between the machines,

the water-stained ceiling tiles,

the table covered in lost socks

(as if anyone is ever going to claim them),

the peeling and faded numbers

that number each well-worn washer,

and the quickly scrawled “out of order” signs

that those new to the laundromat miss

before first entrusting their load

to the shiny silver drum

and filling the crusty old compartment

with cheap corner store detergent.


I’m not sure when I started liking places

such as this or why,

I just know that I do.

Perhaps because,

unlike modern, marble-floored five-star hotels,

there’s more here to hold on to —

more detail,

more life,

more dirt,



more —

the perfect place for those of us

who’re never quite satisfied with ‘enough’.

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