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.