Watching The Clothes Go ‘Round


For the past year, my wife and I have been going to do our laundry at a local laundromat called College Laundry. Every outing is a roll of the dice – you never know what you’re going to see or here when you’re there. Believe me, it makes for an interesting time. The drawing that adorns this post was done while waiting at said laundromat. In May of last year, I described the scene at the laundromat in my sketchbook and would like to share that entry with you so that you get an idea of what goes on while we’re there watching the clothes go ’round.

The laundromat is bustling with people tonight. They’re the same people that I see here every week: students, blue collar workers, drug addicts, the homeless, Asians, African Americans, Spanish speaking, Caucasian – you name it, they’re here. I never know what I’m going to see here, it’s always a surprise. Some nights it’s dead, some nights it’s a madhouse. We’ve been coming here for about three months because the laundromat is near our house and because it’s new and everything works. I wonder how long it’ll be before people start wrecking the place.

In front of me, off to the right, are two overweight African American women eating pastries out of a paper bag. Directly in front of me are two young kids, a boy and a girl. The boy is wearing jeans, a blue shirt and a belt that says, “Hecho en Mexico.” Behind them sits a woman stoically listening to music on a smartphone. To my left, sit three females – a mother and her daughters. One of the girls is dressed in dark gray sweats…she, too, stares stoically at the TV on the wall. Behind them sits an older woman who looks to be in her late 50s or early 60s. She doesn’t look happy – she looks like she’s had a hard life. She wears a completely blank look on her face – her sadness is palpable.

Prior to the three women that were sitting next to me was a man, his wife, and their two young sons. The man and the woman looked like dopes – the conversation that they were having didn’t go past there noses in scope. At one point, the guy took a call from someone who was telling him about some sort of altercation that had occurred in a local auto parts store’s parking lot. During the conversation, the guy said fuck about ten times in front of his two sons who looked to be about 8 and 10 years old. Hey, no big deal, it’s just a few F bombs, right?

The scene tonight doesn’t compare with the one  from two weeks ago – it was a madhouse in here. Clothes everywhere, drug addicts wandering around, people cleaning their baby on one of the tables where customers usually sit. It was bad, really bed. On nights like that, this place is no better than a three ring circus. It’s like sitting and watching a really bad movie in slow motion.”

That pretty much describes the atmosphere at our local laundromat. I often take pictures on my iPhone and post them to my Instagram account. Follow me there @salvadorcastio if you’d like to keep up with my laundromat adventures and regular sketchbook updates.


2 Responses

  1. No doubt the laundromat is a community hub to gauge the neighborhood as its members slog through its duties and responsibilities. We should chat sometime about writing style, I’ve been having some fun with it lately and suspect you might as well. (=

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