PRATIE PLACE

Monday, December 14, 2009

In which I travel to Connecticut to do laundry at Buddhist House

It's the end of the semester at Wesleyan and my son hasn't done laundry since the last time I was up here. So this is what we had to do, to get his laundry done.

  1. Pack a gargantuan amount of laundry into a huge suitcase and a huge mesh bag;

  2. Drive across campus at rush hour to the only building where he can get more money put on his laundry card. I wait in the rush hour traffic by the side of the road while he hustles in there and charges up the card;

  3. Drive back across campus more or less to where we started. He has the key to a house where there is supposedly a washer and dryer.

  4. Enter the house, greet the inhabitants, locate the washing machine and discover: it is full of semi-fetid water;

  5. "Oh, it's been like that since last Friday. I called the Physical Plant but they didn't come I guess. Try Buddhist House."

  6. Drive to Buddhist House and knock on the door hoping somebody is home. Success! Beg to use the laundry room. Permission granted!

  7. Cram half the laundry into the washing machine and consider the fact that if we leave the premises, and there is nobody here when the laundry is done, we'll be locked on the outside and the laundry will be locked on the inside;

  8. Set up paper-writing shop on a tiny corner of a table in a cold kitchen, heaped with other people's clothes, near a bulletin board to which someone has thumb-tacked a pair of orange thong underpants decorated with odd Christian motifs;

  9. Spend two hours huddled at the table - I did leave at one point to get takeout food, and I would have felt more guilty about bringing such things into Buddhist House if there hadn't been lots of Dunkin Donut wrappers in the trash;

  10. Pack the two huge loads of still-pretty-damp laundry back into the car and come back to Ezra's room where he gets back to work and I festoon the joint with clammy clothes...

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