SoHumBorn Sunday: Dirty Laundry

 

 

SoHumBorn writes about the secret world of marijuana growers and the people who love them.  She prefers, like the people she writes about, to remain anonymous saying, “Who am I… I like to think it doesn’t matter. Who cares who wrote something? You either like it or you don’t. The name of the author is of no relevance. Plus, I do enjoy the privacy of writing anonymously.” The stories she writes are funny, scary, sweet, sad, and sometimes violent.  Read more of them here.

Sitting in front of the Redway Laundromat, thumbs flying, the mind numbing song is playing faster and faster as she flips and turns the blocks before they drop into place. Tetris on a phone, isn’t technology amazing? A loud diesel engine and blaring ‘80’s music let her know her friend has arrived. She grins from one Ford to the other. Her smile is met by one just as big from the huge truck that pulled in right next to her’s. Tossing the phone on the passenger seat, she hops out, circling her own rig. The women greet with a fierce hug.

“Get a couple of those roly things,” Her friend directs without wasted pleasantries. “I got a butt load of laundry.”

“God, that sounds truly uncomfortable!” She laughs and complies, bringing two waist high wheeled baskets from inside the laundromat to wait beside the lifted truck. Her friend mounts the truck bed by stepping first on the rear wheel hub then on the oversized tire itself, finally throwing one leg into the bed of the truck. She is completely mindless of the fact that her flowing skirt lets the view of her ummm… assets flow to all who pass by on Redwood Drive.

It begins to rain giant garbage bags full of laundry as they are tossed over the side by one woman with complete faith that the woman below will catch and distribute the bags into the carts. Both carts are crazily top heavy by the time the bags stop flying.

Her friend’s dismount from the truck bed is worthy of an Olympic “Ta-Da” (That moment at the end of each trick, when those tiny gymnasts throw both hands in the air above their heads.) and that thought has her watching the landing with a smile.

“If I don’t kill him this week, I should get some kind of medal!”

Used to the style of conversation that just starts in the middle. She knows her part and responds as expected.

“A gold one.”

“Fuck, yeah, a gold one!”

“Does he think there’s a fuckin’ fairy that comes along and washes this shit?!”

“Apparently.”

“I’ve been working all week long, but can he do anything to help out?”

Listening and shaking her head, she doesn’t answer, ’cause she doesn’t need to. With her back to her friend as she wheels the overloaded cart inside, she smiles at the thought of the upcoming rant. She can tell it has been building on the drive down the hill, and perhaps even in the previous days. Like a hurricane sitting just off the coast picking up speed before finally hitting land, this storm has had a little time to brew.

“I got back to the house last night and Chelsea’s outside playing with the baby goats. Guess what she’s wearing?”

There’s no time for a guess.

“Her green velvet Christmas dress!” Going down the row of machines, the irate woman is slamming open the lids and throwing a scoop of detergent in each one.

“So I’m like Chels’, why are you wearing that dress to play in?” Back at the piled high baskets she grabs a bag and unceremoniously dumps it in the first open washer–stuffing the clothes that foolishly remain above the lid of the tub down with violent jabs from her strong tan arms.

“You know what she says?” She grabs another bag and rips it open.

“She says…?”

“Daddy said since you couldn’t make time to take care of our family and get the laundry done, I could wear my party dresses.” Again, the clothes that didn’t quite fit in were punished.

“Can you believe that shit?! I’m clipping all day while
he sits on his ass drinking Corona and
I’m not taking care of my family?”

This rant is really building up steam, and she wants to smile at her friend’s anger, but she doesn’t. If the inside of the laundromat had a barometer, she bets it would be moving.

The angry woman pauses to look her in the eye.

“Are they born assholes, or is that something they teach them growing up?”

This time the smile breaks free and for once she answers. “I think it’s like ‘The Force’. They’re all born with the power to make us crazy, but it’s up to them to use it for good or evil.”

This draws a bark of laughter from the angry woman as she grabs another bag and, moving down the line, upends it into the next machine.

As she pulls the bag away, they are both shocked to see that there are no unruly socks or filthy camo pants to be shoved down. The washer is full, and drifting to the floor all around it, dried green leaf is settling everywhere.

A moment of silence as they look repeatedly at the shake, and then each other.

It’s impossible to tell who started the laughing, but it only takes a moment before they are both wild.

While her friend begins rebagging the clothes that had been shoved in the washers moments before, she rolls the cart they hadn’t started on yet back outside to the Ford, and with the grace of a longshoreman hucks the bags of laundry back up into the lifted bed. Her eyes dart up and down the street, grateful for the quiet morning, and praying it stays that way while they make their escape.

She shoves the empty cart back in the door barely in time to avoid a collision with the second cart as her friend hastily rolls it out. Sleeves and pant legs flapping, the (not quite neatly) re-bagged clothes fly up and into the bed of the Ford.

They pause grinning at each other like mad women.

“Garberville laundromat?”

The question needs no answer, and they are in their trucks leaving a cloud of choking black exhaust, the echo of laughter, and a little something special.

——————————————————————————————
Epilogue: After doing the laundry in the next little town down the road, the women couldn’t resist checking to see if someone had reported the unintentional distribution of an illegal substance. They expected to see a sheriff parked in front of the laundromat. However, there were no cars out front but a large crowd of disheveled men were gathered round the weed filled washer stuffing paper sacks with enthusiastic vigor.

There’s more than one way to clean pot.

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