Friday, December 09, 2005

tonight's fable (and of course it's true. this is brooklyn)

after a long day at work, i had to convince myself that I had no choice but to do laundry tonight. i am going to NOLA next wednesday, sudha is visiting this weekend and really when do i think would be a better time?

gifford was kind enough to keep me company and help with my three loads of laundry. as we sat and chatted, i noticed a man struggling to open the door. his hands were preoccupied with a large white object. I helped open the door for him and I immediately noticed the paper bag and glass bottle in the side pocket of his coat.

what also became clear to me was that the object in his hands was a microwave. i looked at gifford, cocked my eyebrows and squinted, thinking, "this should be interesting."

gifford kept talking, but i frankly couldn't listen. i had to see what was going to happen. he asked one of the customers if they knew where he could find a plug. he meant an outlet. he wanted to hook up the microwave and use it.

when the girl running the store came back into the main room after taking care of something in the back, she noticed the microwave on top of her work area as he struggled to shove a three pronged plug into a simple power strip. she said, "that isn't going to work." she was about my height and he was a very tall, heavy set man.

and drunk.

he said, "can't a man warm his food? i brought my own microwave!"

he then placed the microwave atop a line of washers and tried to reach behind the washers to find an appropriate outlet.

i couldn't stop watching. what if he threw the microwave at someone in anger? what if he dropped it? what if it blew a fuse and I was stuck with three loads of soapy, wet, cold wash?

he finally decided this was impossible and walked his unlaced boots out of the laundrymat with the microwave. gifford opened the door for him as he left.

then gifford went back to her story and everyone went back to their washing. what would we have done if he would have lost it? feigned a deep interest in fabric softener? sometimes i feel that life is not unlike the crazy man who wants to microwave his pizza in the laundrymat. we just try to pretend he isn't there and will him to be gone. sometimes we're lucky and sometimes we end up with an impossible amount of wet clothing mixed with glass.


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