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24 August 2014

Panic at the Laundromat

This is what happens.This is what makes it so difficult. Everything. This is why we can't have nice things. This is why whatever you wanted me to do, the thing didn't get done. No one stopped me. Nothing stopped me.  Everything stopped me, and I just kept on walking until I got here.

"Why can't you do this one simple thing that the rest of the world does every day without even stopping to think about it?"

Ok. Fine. I'll tell you. This is what happened. I tried to do two loads of laundry tonight, and couldn't do it.  See? One simple thing, one simple fucking thing, and it didn't happen. I tried. I really did.

The situation: there's a small neighborhood laundromat not far from campus, easily within walking distance even with a laundry basket. I've never been there. I'd heard rumors of its existence. I wasn't sure though, so I looked it up on Google Maps. Yup, there it is. Still not convinced. What if I cart my duffel bag of clothes over there and it's closed? It'll be a waste of time.

I decide to meet myself halfway. I'll take a walk and check it out. If it's legit, I'll come back this way, pick up some laundry detergent, grab my clothes, and get with the washin' o' the clothes. I'm in the middle of something else, and while that's finishing dude comes in. "OMG WOW LOOK AT THAT I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT THING DO SOMETHING HOLY SHIT". Settle down, dude. It's not 100% working yet. I'm heading out to do laundry, so I'm closing up shop here very soon. (In other words, don't get comfortable.)

Said place where I am is also said place where my duffel of clothes is presently stashed. I'm having enough trouble with this already, I don't need to explain the laundry situation.  "HEY IS IT OK IF I..." No, thing I was working on isn't really set up yet. "OK COOL" *sigh* Fine, dude, push buttons and pretend.  I need to look up on the map where this alleged laundromat is again. That's done, so I'm packing up. "ARE YOU GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW?" I don't know. Maybe. Go away. I'm trying to do something here.  "WORDS, WORDS, WORDS". I ignore. I leave my clothes where they are, grab my backpack, and set off in search of laundry heaven.

There are people outside.

I've gotten used to (yet again) avoiding much of the world since I've been back on the street. Things are just better that way. No interactions, questions, no explanations. I pass a couple of people on the sidewalk, and we ignore each other. So far, so good. Then I pass the park, where there are people playing volleyball and shouting and doing whatever it is that people do when they're enjoying being outside.  There are people sitting outside on their front porches. There are people just sort of wandering around.

I have to walk faster. I have to get past these people. I won't be able to bring my laundry basket this way, I'll have to come back on the next street over. I can't go back this way either, they've seen me. I don't like this. I keep going anyway. I can see the back side of the laundromat. There's a sign indicating that this may in fact be a real laundromat.

I get to the next intersection, cross the street to the right, and I'm at the laundromat. It doesn't look like much, but up ahead I see light coming from inside. It's open, all right. There's someone sitting right by the door, and someone else leaning on the center table in the middle of the room. I'm trying to look inside, but they're starting back at me. Shit. I can see open washers though, so maybe ok.

But they're looking at me.

I keep going. No way in hell am I going inside that laundromat right now. Still, I figure I can go get my clothes, come back on this other street, and when the people in the laundromat see me with a bag of clothes they'll get it. Until I see the people on the front porch. Double shit. I can't come back this way with laundry, because then the people on the porch will recognize me except I'll have laundry.

I know. I'll come back this way, but turn left a block early so I can get to the laundromat from the back entrance.

I'm on the same street (and in fact the same block) as one of the first apartments I looked at after Porchlight threw me out. There are people sitting on the front porch there too, most likely including the person who got the room there that I wanted to rent. The landlord there said "sure, I'll send you an application, you'll need three references, etc etc"-- never did get that email with an application. So I'm not relaxed. At. All. I keep walking, sweating because I'm fighting the warm air and humidity instead of just rolling with it.

It's only a block to get to where I'm headed but I feel like it's a mile. I just want to find a quiet dark place and be alone. Inside. Alone.

I made it inside, and there aren't that many people in here, but they're all having a competition to see who can talk the loudest. I'm listening to music, which is enough to keep me going while I type all of this shit out but not enough to drown out everyone else. 

I'm tired, now. Exhausted. I feel strung out, nerves raw, can't stop yawning. I know the panic is over now.

The laundry? What laundry? Oh yeah. That will have to wait until later, tomorrow, sometime. I have to figure out where I'm going to sleep tonight, because right now I don't know. I need coffee, and quiet, and to be alone for a while.

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It doesn't help that I haven't heard back from Mom, who is supposed to co-sign a lease for a new apartment for me. It's been a week since the 15th when the previous person's lease was up, so the apartment (my apartment) is empty waiting for me to get this paperwork done.

Get the paperwork done, I'm no longer homeless.

Don't get the paperwork done, and at some point the landlord's going to tell me to get bent while he rents to someone else. This landlord is the only one out of 50 or so that actually said they'd rent to me. I can't afford to lose this apartment.

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