There is something strange and voyeuristic about the Laundromat, yet also strangely comforting; a somewhat welcome return to a semi-stark reality in a life increasingly easily filtered through chosen images and words, sealed into individual units. But here, dirty laundry is visible, tangible, concrete. Worn waistbands and frayed hems press up against steamy dryer doors; a stray sock lingers on the floor; quarters and detergent are spilled, recollected.
At my Laundromat, strips of fabric line the walls; mostly blue. Sewn quotes are interspersed with phrases, notes written in permanent marker and ballpoint pen, fading ink on faded cloth. I have never seen someone write one; I wonder if keeping pens capped in company is an unspoken rule like the unspoken rule about not speaking that dictates the silence except for the whinging of the spin cycle and the thrum of the dryers.
It is disorienting to watch clothes dry, round and round in endless leaps, always in the same direction. But too it is hard to avert the eyes; there is a palpable sense of relief coupled with a tinge of disappointment when the motion stops, one last shirt making a final leap before collapsing with the others.
Like the brief moment of satisfaction when you pull a well-formed cake out of the oven only to realize that it must be cooled and frosted it before it can be served; the adult understanding of diminishing returns – still-warm cake sounds better, really, than it tastes, and laundry is best folded before wrinkled and cold.
Overslept (slightly). Decided to increase overall efficiency by packing work clothes to change into after running with friend, eliminating need to return home. Found shit on running shoes. Noted to self to definitely remember to bring other (non-shitty) shoes. Promptly forgot other (non-shitty) shoes. Missed friend. Ran alone. Executive decision made to return home to recombobulate. Dropped cell phone in outdoor garbage while attempting to throw away other trash from car in (futile; failed) attempt to further simplify, de-clutter life spaces. Swore. Retrieved cell phone. Cleaned cell phone. Showered. Coffeed. Breakfasted. Found schoolwork on table. Re-packed bag. During second attempt to leave apartment, found note from neighbor regarding possible gas leak in apartment. Called gas company. Gas company guy arrived, gas leak (minor) found and fixed. Third attempt to leave thwarted by last-minute decision to pack lunch. Packed lunch. Fourth attempt – successful (though humbled) departure via bicycle.
Conclusion: for such an (inherently) early riser, I am not much of a (functional) morning person.
Sometimes it really blows.
I’m starting to feel like I’ve been through the deck so many times that I’d rather just throw all my cards down on the table face-up because I’m tired of trying to learn each set of rules. Never really one for games outside of wordplay, my patience seems only to be decreasing with experience.
And too, it is unclear what in this context connotes winning because surely I have some chips remaining on the table. Time is not numerical, measured in days, weeks, months, or years, but relational, comprised of versions of self in situ.
I am not looking for black and white, but rather perhaps more striated shades on the continuum of gray that seems to encompass everything. Or maybe I am looking for black and white, but I have no doubt that confronted with such clarity I’d search out the hints of gray, the blur on the cusp of the lines. By staying in constant motion, a relative state of flux, I’ve managed to both accelerate and stop simultaneously, neither there nor there and relentlessly certain in the uncertainty, the possible impermanence of here. By seeking out stable transience, I have successfully avoided permanence thus far.
But already something has shifted, almost unconsciously fallen into step. While no doubt we can each and both survive on our own footsureness, it sure is nice to share the miles.
Jagged edges of lines repeated in mind, culled from text or ether; lettersounds repeating. Bits of snippets of fragments of static until something breaks through the white noise; more often than not, nonsensical nonetheless. All mouthfeel and backbeat and tapping til you find your cadence.
Stepping on cracks doesn’t break backs, but common sense dictates that glass houses don’t take well to thrown stones. Enter at your own risk; knock on wood; there’s no turning back, but there are stars in the sky aplenty.
Birthdays used to make me cry; this year the weather bore the brunt of emotions while I stayed strangely calm. Pathetic fallacy, or simply coincidence? Tucking in toward the biting wind, I couldn’t help but laugh as my face began to freeze, a cold headache spreading forehead to temple, stiff fingertips curled into mitten tops. A brief contemplation of the possibility of frostnip or worse on exposed flesh; a resounding response to ignore the temporary stinging of bare ankles, lest worse come afoot. Onward toward the churning surf, cackling with the seagulls as they bob, weave, and otherwise remain motionless in the blustery gusts, faces facing forward in dips and lulls.
To move is to live; to run is to move; to live, I run. Wild and gnashing, the weather pulled me out the door – just a few miles, just a little bit of living; sometimes it is necessary to do things just because, on the principle of the thing. To run on a beautiful day is pleasant, perhaps bordering on sublime. But to run on a day so full of malcontent as this, now maybe that may be seen as a true labor of love, or indignation, or unrelenting urge to manipulate the hands of time as they grope savagely at my ever-aging being. Never did I truly consider the youthfulness of my countenance until the burgeoning smile lines and increasingly etched eye crinkles gave me pause two weeks ago. Elasticity of features taken for granted, laurels ridden on like so many parade floats, until the years begin to show, folded in corners of mouths and eyes.