I arrive at 7:50 a.m. in my shorts and flipflops. The front door is open and I pop my head inside. Can I come in? I ask D, who is counting her till for the morning shift which begins at 8:00. Sure she says. People are already washing. She nods in the direction of an older gentleman by a machine on the far side; he must own the car with the veteran plate out front. I bring my laundry inside in my big purple trug from Veseys. I put two loads in the front loaders and one load in a conventional top load machine. D is complaining that J didn’t roll the change on the night shift. She’s having trouble reconciling her till to get going. When she has a moment, I get change for 3 toonies and start the machines. Two other guys come in, both middle-aged. Are you the fresh air inspector? D calls to the taller one. They talk about the weather. The tv has not been turned on yet. D is fretting about the pile of dimes so I help her roll them. I head home while my machines are washing and as I drive by her house, I see a colleague in her yard painting her deck dark brown.
When I return to the laundromat, the tv is blaring and there are 3 or 4 men there, none young, taking care of laundry. I give D several coin rolling papers, since she was short this morning. She says thanks and seems pleased. The gas drier No. 6 is free, so I load up my sheets and towels and throw in 4 spikey blue balls. I put 8 quarters in the slot and it starts going. I put the other two loads in smaller electric driers and select permanent press. I take out The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis and sit on the bench by the counter, reading. The men joke with D. I feel somewhat depressed by a story called The House Behind, in which the narrator observes and comments on an apparently senseless murder of a woman from the front house, by a man of lower class living in the house behind. I notice drier No. 6 has stopped. I put in another 2 quarters and read 2 more very short stories. When the electric driers are finished, I take out the clothes and fold them loosely. Some are still damp, but I plan to hang them up at home. I take the sheets, towels, underwear, and socks out of driver No. 6. I am pleased by their level of dryness. I shake out the fitted blue sheet before folding it and a black sweatsock, turned inside out, falls out. I wonder to myself about its journey – did it join my laundry in the washer, the drier, did one of the men mistakenly throw it in Drier No. 6 instead of drier No. 7 or 5? I gather my folded laundry together in the purple trug. I put the clean black sweatsock on the front counter for D. She is just outside the front door, talking with a smoking man. They are laughing. The atmosphere, even with the blaring tv, is congenial. Goodbye, I say. Have a good week.