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To err is human, to forgive is stupid, but silence is actually golden

Oh to find a laundromat that opens at 6:00AM, what a dream, what a delight. I arrived at 7:09 sharp. A middle aged white guy had already taken stake on the premises. He was balding and wore big-framed glasses. He was dressed in colorless athletic wear. Perfect for washing clothes. He expected to have the place to himself, I could tell. The great thing about him was that he didn’t want to engage with me. He looked and then turned quickly, so we wouldn’t even have to speak. Great! Now I knew I’d found the perfect laundromat.

When I was growing up in Atlanta, we called laundromats washhouses which sounds, and is, country. Don’t be offended; I can say that ‘cause I’m talking about myself. But in many ways the phrase washhouse is a more accurate term. It is, after all, a one-room shack where you can wash clothes. Without conversation I can read more of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. Many of her characters live quiet and disparate lives, much like those of us who come to the laundromat.

The large-eyeglasses-wearing white guy has left the building. He didn’t even say goodbye. Surprise! A friendlier white guy replaced him. He spoke and acknowledged me with just the appropriate eye contact, tone of voice, and limited word-smithing: my kinda guy.