Monday, April 27, 2009

My Beautiful Wonderful Launderette

When I first moved to New York I fully intended to so my own wash. I bought a tiny box of soap powder, found a laundry place right by my house and went in. It was packed and all the machines were being used. Then I saw "Wash and Fold" and KNEW it was over. Once I handed over my rags to be washed and folded (perfectly, I might add) by another I knew I would never wash again.

This has ended due to budget cuts. While I am not working full time I have to do my own clothes. The place I go for wash and fold is just too small so I had to find another location. Though I never have had kids I felt that looking for a new launderette was like finding a good school for my dependents: How much would it cost? Is it clean? Would my clothes be happy there?

I found a place nearby and went this morning. Wow, the familiar roller baskets that I used in LA and the industrial washers and dryers and the change machine. There was a bulletin board that had fliers for guitar lessons, moving vans and nude yoga. I guess this was the place.

Like on the first day of school I had to ask questions. I felt lost, but I knew I would be taken care of. The guy got me set up with the machines and he even fished out the quarters I claimed were swallowed without being registered. A good sign.

And I had big plans to use this place to read my books, magazines and maybe even meditate. Somehow I forgot to bring my cell phone and had a wee panic. Then I realized this was my place for quiet. It would be okay. And it was. I sat and I read quietly with the tumble dryers creating a nice "Ommmmmm."

The book I was reading "Never Eat Alone" was lying on the bench when I went to put some more quarters in the dryers. This woman asked me if she could look at it. Her name is Julia. She is a masseuse and a Buddhist. We got to talking and just had the best time. She does not have a computer, TV or a cell phone. We did not have a lot in common in that area, but we talked a lot about meditation and communication. She ran back up to her apartment to lend me her Pema Chödrön "When Things Fall Apart." I have made a new friend.

So far so good in my new place.


Lexa said...

I love my laundromat. I never thought I would say that.

easca said...

OMG, I felt like crying. What a beautiful soul to reach out to you like that!

Criticlasm said...

I love that book. She's so worthwhile to read.

And laundry has become the moment where I am forced to be in one place doing one thing. I suppose that will end with my smart phone, but I do kind of like it secretly.