Me: Would you be a lamb and reset the WIFI?
Laundry Lady: I just did – I figured I’d get your coffee going first.
This was not my first interaction in the less than 10 minutes I’ve been here.
First we discussed fireworks, or rather, the lack thereof from our most local casino.
I guess we were both outside when night fell, drawn out by the distant ‘POP! POP!’ sounds only to discover it was tourists on the beach and not an official display.
Then I noticed her hair.
Me: Did you dye your hair??
Laundry Lady: Yeah.
A small smile played on her lips and I was SO glad I noticed.
I shuffled away like Igor to my machine, heavy basket dictating my gait.
Glaucoma man found me as I was filling my machines. Actually, he came up on me whilst I was snapping a bra closed before flinging it in.
He was disturbed. (Not about my bra)
Him: He has my machine. (He glared over toward his usual spot.) She opened the back door first today and let him in.
I glanced over towards ‘his’ machine, and sure enough, an unfamiliar face (attached to an unfamiliar body) stood near it.
Now, I’m NOT going to knock him for this discomfort. We all know how my weird little OCD’s send me into a tailspin when I’m stuck under the weird rainbow umbrella instead of the seats I like – or how frustrating it is to find all ‘my’ machines in use.
I get it.
We all have our little routines and rituals.
Him: She must know him.
He said it like it was a conspiracy. I couldn’t help remembering her telling me “sometimes I make him wait.” and stifled a giggle.
But Laundry Lady is not cruel hearted, I decided probably she just happened to open the back door first, and was not making Glaucoma man suffer needlessly.
Me: Well, technically she doesn’t have to open until 8 – she’s sweet to do so.
Him: How is your husband?
Me: Good. (I didn’t correct him)
He went on to talk about how Laundry Lady is grumpy. Which is so not true. Then shared with me that she isn’t well.
This made me sad. I didn’t push for all the details – I figure if someone wants me to know something personal about themselves, they’ll tell me.
He shared anyway.
Him: Yeah, she has that COD.
Me: Me too
Him: You do? But you always have a smile on your face!
I wanted to tell him so does the Laundry Lady. For me anyway. I think she just runs out of patience with some patrons. I mean, I wasn’t going to tell him that part.
The bottom line though, is that if you’re kind, you get kindness back. If you smile, you receive one of those in return too.
And if you are consistent about it – you get a friendly weekly chat and a fresh pot of coffee.
Me: Glaucoma man is here.
Jim: What’s his name?
Me: Glaucoma man … I don’t know. I don’t name them, then I won’t feel so bad if I lose one.
Immediately upon introducing the two, Jim got his name.
So, now you do too.
Glaucoma man is Roger.
And he’s sporting some serious shorts today.
All this time, we shared our lives, but never our names. He still doesn’t know mine. Oh! I ran into him at the grocery store last week! It was bizarre.
I was getting groceries the morning I was to pick up Jim at the airport, and I heard a familiar voice in the cereal aisle.
It’s like seeing a teacher out of school … or a co-worker in an unexpected place.
He showed me his new haircut and asked why I wasn’t at work. When we parted, he said “Don’t work too hard.”
I found that odd. Well, the whole interaction outside of the laundromat was odd.
It’s been a great weekend. I would say it’s been weird adjusting to having a roommate, but it hasn’t been. At all.
What we ARE still adjusting to, is the integration of my dog and his cat. It’s going well. But Butters (as Jim so appropriately described her) is like a bowling ball with legs.
Her eagerness might end up causing Draper an injury. So we’re very watchful when they’re together.
And yes, they’ve reached the point, after a few nights of pining and sniffing and exploring – of being in the same room.
We followed the SPCA’s advise and rewarded Butters for calm behavior walking past the baby gate divide. Draper was on one side, leashed and Butters leashed on the other. Each with their person.
We were determined not to rush it.
Needed it to be a positive experience for each of them.
We still have a lot of work to do … but making great progress.
So many new people here today – people I’ve never seen before. Glaucoma man is leaving, I feel a little out of place now.
Then I glance over at my honey’s seat and he’s been drawing as I have been writing …
And now I don’t feel out of place anymore.
Everything is as it was meant to be.
Barely had my eyes opened this morning before I leaped into action. This was after a brief ‘wait, it really is Sunday right?’ thought.
I did not want to miss my glaucoma man today.
I threw on some jeans and brushed my teeth – grabbed 3, yes 3 laundry baskets full of items and managed to juggle those, plus my purse, plus my keys PLUS my cup of coffee and get into my car.
I had a fleeting thought of wishing I could balance my laundry on my head.
I waddled in, weighted down with my bags and spotted glaucoma man.
He gestured to my two washing machines and I shuffled over to him.
We spoke of his eyes (they’re getting better but he hates the drops he has to use … said they go down his throat (from his eye? eek.)
I shared with him a documentary I saw about a doctor who went to North Korea and performed the surgery on 1000 + N. Koreans. A lot of them young, they’d been blinded by poor nutrition.
Then we spoke of his time in South Korea. How we both think China is going to have a little chat with North Korea soon – about progress and bombs – Russia and how they’re getting so poor he thinks a war is imminent. We spoke of the DMZ and VA health care … and the weather.
I love talking to him. And then he left.
I crammed the washers to the brim today – I’m so hoping that means the items still got clean.
I was down to change again today – so two washing machines it needed to be! Of course, I chose today to wash my quilt and Butters blanket too. Logic is not my strong point … but tenacity is, and miraculously everything fit and now 3 dryers are spinning merrily away with my laundered contents inside.
I plan to de-Christmas my humble abode today. We’ll see how much energy I have left after lugging all that laundry back home and making my bed. lol.
Ooo! And I think I just found a new friend to chat with. I’ll start with brief eye contact and a smile – and we’ll see if she warms to me. Maybe by next week we’ll be exchanging stories.