Living on the road requires going to the laundromat every few weeks. It’s convenient when the facilities are at the RV park, but we are often places where it’s necessary to unearth a laundromat and go there.
Laundromats are great equalizers, like the military once was. And it’s a great place to observe.
Laundromat: Springfield Illinois
“Best laundromat and town,” says Dale on Google.
So we go.
Throw in the laundry and sit on the bench.
Not the one Arlo made famous.
But the one outside where the cacophony of whirling machines
And reality television are lower.
I’m reading about a Scottish second-hand bookstore.
Rain and pricey old volumes.
I’m in the sun drinking bad coffee, waiting.
The man carrying T-shirts on hangers—
One is a bright tie-dye—
Gets into a Prius.
A cream-colored Caddy crawls onto the lot.
Fifty-fifty shot: Old white man or young black man?
A tanned man with day-old beard and deep clefts in his face
Brightens with a smile.
“It’s hot,” he says,
Informing us of something we have already understood.
“But it’s the dew point. Dew point is too high.”
He shakes his head as he unlocks his bike.
“Wouldn’t be so hot if it wasn’t for the dew point.”
He rides off with a wave.
Slowly, a tall black man unfolds from the Caddy.