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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Suds-A-Life

by AM Nelson (writer), Los Angeles, November 09, 2006

My ripped pockets are full of quarters. A glance at the wall change machine and I realize this place accommodates more than meter-maids and arcade owners. The taste of burnt dryer lint on my tongue welcomes me this month.

Nine washers in perfect alignment begin to speak and sputter, “Gurgle and chirp, whoosh cha-cling.” Lime juice stiffened pants call for extra detergent. Coffee drool sings for bleach. Potions and lotions and goop all entwine with fabric as the symphony continues. I conduct with an expert mind, strong back, and sticky hands.

Hard plastic chairs in blue and red recall the days of childhood. Perhaps this chair was bad and has been sentenced to Laundromat duty. In being locked to the others and bolted to the floor, I bet it has never felt so lonely amidst so many. I plop myself into the comfort of plastic; the machines ensemble.

I haven’t been one for celebrity gossip before, but the glossy pages lure me into the latest fashions and tragedies. I forgot my own reading material. So, everyone thinks of partnering up, splitting up. They think of moving in, moving onward. They question and answer themselves.

They try to feel confident. The splash of ball gowns and makeup whiten the page. The tumble of suits and designer jeans fill my eyes with color. Photographs document the miraculous change of her brows before Botox, and after. Arrows mark the appearance of his chin before surgery, and after. A bikini reveals the tummy before baby, and after.

A washer begins to dance on the speckled tile. The ungainly clunk of the cubed machine reminds me of my human feature. I have enough intelligence to recognize when I’m doing the cube clunk dance. I can balance my load.


About the Writer

AM Nelson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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