Monday, August 11, 2014

Squirrels Have it Easy


Today was one of the worst I have ever had, and that includes surgery days, when at least there are nurses tending to your every need afterwards, if you live.  It started out fine. I went to the periodontist for my regular cleaning and nothing was worse, which is what I can expect from now on according to Stella. "Bone cannot grow back," she said, adding brightly that my pockets weren't any deeper, if you know what I mean, and if you don't you are damn lucky and someday you will, and then you'll think, oh, so that's what that meant.

That was a day at Disneyland compared to my next stop, a place I have not frequented in 40 years and never will again. I went to the laundromat. It was unavoidable, due to a peculiar set of circumstances resulting in three blankets and a queen-sized quilt all in desperate need of laundering, a task far exceeding the capabilities of our standard top-loading washer at home.

The laundromat, even one plopped down right in the middle of a decent neighborhood, is a pit of despair. Half the machines are broken. The soap dispenser is empty. Things are slick and icky. The people in there, waiting on a row of attached plastic chairs, are ugly and defeated. And by the time I left, at least two hours later, so was I. By the way, these days a wash costs $4.50 and the dryer is 50 cents to start and another 50 cents for four minutes, meaning I dropped almost twenty bucks in there.

On my way home I almost ran over a squirrel. As I slammed on the brakes, I realized I was jealous of the squirrel for not having to do laundry, for not having blankets or a big quilt, and for not having to go to the market and get something for dinner after having endured the horrors of the laundromat. I envied his little squirrel family with their acorns for dinner and their blankets of pine needles, all there for them with no trouble at all.

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