Only A . . . Miss New Yorker
Laundry day and I had the tedious task of going to the laundromat. I go on a set day, on an otherwise uneventful set schedule. Washing clothes is my least favorite task, behind cleaning house.
Today was no different. I had to go. The new pack of socks I'd bought for the kid wasn't gonna last beyond two more days. Reluctantly, I grabbed the almost handle-less bag, threw it, my purse and the most recent issue of Essence magazine onto the passenger's side of my car and drove the mile or so up the road to acquiecse to displeasure.
Now I'll admit, I wash on Wednesdays and Thursdays because both days double washers are $1.25. I'd been trying to get it down to a science, trying to arrive when the joint would be least occupied and that way have my choice of washers and dryers. The best dryer is # 21 and the one by the window in the back as you walk in. I wasn't so lucky this day. Arriving at the laundromat, all washers were full. A few were nearing completion, so I waited nicely to use them. I finally put my clothes in, added detergent, color safe bleach and five quarters were popped into the slot to start the WARM cycle on the machines.
I sat down on one of the putrid colored green chairs by the window to the right as you walk thru the laudromat's doors and began to ogle the finest men in Essence, to include Denzel Washington. I waited again, this time to remove my clothes after the final rinse and spin so as to dry them.
Now in this laudromat there are, as I stated before and in my humble opinion, only two dryers worth using. The dryer next to the wall of windows and dryer # 21. They dry your clothes to perfection, don't waste your hard earned money and make me sigh in relief that I can keep my budget intact. I will and do go all out to use them each wash day. Surprisingly, the dryer near the wall was in use, NOT! Clothes were sitting in it, and I instinctively knew they belonged to her. Miss New Yorker!
The REAL Story!
I knew, with a furtive side glance, she was a New Yorker.
Maybe its instinct, a certain sense in knowing.
I am a New Yorker and maybe that's all I needed to know she was, too.
The first washer I wanted to use, that was nearing completion, was occupied by her laundry. She propeled herself slowly, almost turtle like, to remove her clothes from it. Politely, if not indifferently, she shared with me it was free for use. While she'd removed her clothes, I'd looked her over from head to sneakers. It was all too obvious to me where she was from. The keystring sticking up from her rear pocket, the bell bottom jeans, her haughty air, her short curly hair, her whole demeanor even, shrouded in the slow movements she made to retrieve her laundry solidified my scrutiny of her. She was from my city, my New York.
My laundry spun to a stop, me taking in the last three seconds on the face of the machine. The second machine stopped as well. I poured all the clothes into the basket and pushed the cart to the dryer by the wall. Again, I knew the clothes inside it could only be hers, Miss New Yorker's, so I asked politely if they were. She nodded yes. I asked if she could remove them because I was trying to get home by 2:15 p.m. to get my son off the bus; she said she would, but was folding the clothes in her basket and she had to get to work too. (I half laughingly asked her if she were from New York, and she said yes.)
I bit my tongue, moved to dryer #21 and put light clothes in its drum, putting jeans and pants to the side for the dryer that held her clothes. Looking left. I noticed the dryer by the window in the back was running. She'd had the audacity to add more coins! I began cursing her under my breath. How dare she!
I finished loading and feeding coins to dryer # 21, moved back to the other side of the room where the dryer I needed to use was, the one Miss New Yorker was using and waited again. At 2:00 p.m. Miss New Yorker's clothes stopped. She let them sit there until an elderly lady, pushing a walker, spoke to me, apologizing for being in my way. I told her no problem, I was only waiting for a dryer; the dryer near the window. I said it loud so Miss New Yorker could hear. It worked; she got her clothes out and I briskly moved to put my jeans and pants inside the dryer.
You know the funny thing is, her son (an impressionable teenager) was standing there looking from her to me, waiting for something to erupt, I imagine. What a good example she was showing him.
In addition, from a personal perspective, she proved everyone's impression of New York/New Yorkers, in that we are seemingly rude, uncaring, cold and indifferent. Of course that's not me, nor any of my family members or friends I know from New York. Yet she fit this stereotype as she didn't seem to care I had a small boy to get home to to take off the bus!
My clothes secure and drying on high heat, I hurried out the door to meet the school bus. I could see Miss New Yorker putting her laundered items in two white baskets and I laughed. She didn't know I had been a soldier in the United States Army, nor did she know I'd learned a lot of hurry up and wait in all things Army.
They say you can take the girl out of the city, but not the city out of the girl. The Army tamed me.
Pulling away I thought, "You are so lucky Miss New Yorker. You can't begin to know how close to a Smack Down you were!
Yeah, a Smack Down might have been just the ticket!
Copyright © 2011 Satice James, All Rights Reserved