Adventures in Laundry-ing
The machine won’t accept my debit card even though there’s money in my account. I can’t refill my laundry card, and there’s only 50 cents left on it, so I can’t start the dryer. I’ve already got clothes in the washing machine, so I can’t wait until tomorrow to finish. Of course, none of my roommates are home, meaning I can’t borrow a five-dollar bill.
I text Isaiah and ask if I can come over to finish my laundry. He says yes. I haul my two hampers down to the lightrail station. As I’m walking, I think about how four or five months ago, Aiden would’ve driven me to CVA. Suddenly, I remember all the times in his car, driving to or from the movies, work, or McCoy’s Diner. I think I just miss the atmosphere of his car but maybe also him. I don’t know.
At the dorms, I begin drying the hamper of washed-but-probably-dirty-again clothes.
Then I look out the window and see Luis. It’s the second time I’ve seen him this weekend.
When Luis comes in, we talk excitedly. Asking if either of us keeps in touch with the other roommates; we don’t. As we talk, he tells me about his job and we joke about how I published a piece in which he was quoted. He tells me he reads my column every week and how proud of me he is. I realize I really do miss the S107 Squad.
Eventually he asks why Aiden and I split. I skirt around the question but then tell the truth. I was unhappy. I thought I would be fine. I was a complete emotional wreck all summer. We got back together for five days, then I decided I didn’t want it. I keep almost making self-destructive decisions, and I’m probably the reason I can’t move on. Despite it all, Luis asks me for relationship advice. I give him some, and we decide the best thing for me is to never leave my apartment again and swear off all men.
Later, as I write this column, I find a calmness in the melancholy realization of what has transpired. I’ve changed an almost incalculable amount since this time last year. I long for what I’ve lost while I cling to what I’ve found. About myself. About how I process failure and change. About nostalgia and how useless but comforting it is. I’m reminded of the Barbra Streisand song “People.” Are people who need people really the luckiest people in the world?