Clean Laundry

by Nic Olson

Just like a sitcom character, I went to the laundromat today. First time. It is on the street a block away from everything one might need to live. Pizza Place, metro, mechanic, cafe, post office, drug dealer. Soap is free on Wednesdays.

I sat outside clipping my fingernails and reading poetry, peeking in the door to make sure the man with painty sweatpants wasn’t going through my delicates. The voice of a twenty year younger Oprah beat against my ear through a twenty year older television set, the shopkeeper’s time-pass. Oprah was even speaking English. A bald man in a suit came in closer to the end of my cycle. He was carrying a suitcase. He placed it on the table, leaned against a running washing machine and stroked his bald head. Hanging out at the laundromat. I couldn’t blame him, it was high times in there.

I wondered if a laundromat could get a government grant to replace their machines from my grandparent’s era, for new, low volume ones. Probably not. It is always peculiar to me that the money that the government takes from me, which you can be sure isn’t much, gets to be spent on things I disapprove of: destroying natural water habitats in Alberta, etc, etc, which are based on the opinion of a guy I haven’t met, or wouldn’t care to meet. Democracy is perfect. And then water is wasted overwashing underwear at the same time. And then water costs $2/litre, if you are too good to drink what the tap makes. I guess the government gives me money and doesn’t approve when I spend it on food and beer in Quebec, clothing for children under the age of 14, three of the least taxed things I know of. I don’t buy those often.

Growing up seems exciting until you realize that it just means dirty underwear and less friends. I leaned against the newly painted door frame, mowed on a slice of pizza and could definitely say growing up wasn’t as good as it is cracked up to be, but it still wasn’t bad. I licked clean two bowls of pumpkin pie filling yesterday and my toilet got repainted a golden pumpkin colour. Childhood meets ‘adulthood’.