I hate Laundromats. They're cramped, they smell - sometimes good, sometimes not - and the people there tend to be... special. At least this particular place is a student coin-op joint, which limits the traffic and the clientele.
It still sucks.
But it's not like you can pack something like a washing machine when you skip shelters and hideouts. So, most times, this is where I end up. Have to clean my clothes somehow, and using a washboard is just too much work.
Yeah, I tried. Lost a good shirt that way.
The green plastic chairs of this dimly lit place are really hard. The noise of the whirling engines grows really monotonous after a while. Drives me nuts. Keep glaring into my loads - one all blacks, one all whites. If I stare long enough without blinking, it blends into some kind of funky yin/yang symbol.
Hey, the place hasn't got a TV, or a radio. Have to find my entertainment somewhere.
This is the third time I've come here. Visited another place before one of the guys at the dorms told me about this Laundromat. At least it's better than the last one. Less knitting factor. The chattering old women with their stitchwork drove me battier than the spin-cycles.
The girl across the room glances up from her book, and smiles at me. I smile back. If I weren't in such a rotten mood, I might have chatted her up a little. Takes me a moment to remember her from the bleachers. Weird, really. She hardly looks like a basketball fan.
I can feel she wants to talk, but she doesn't say anything, waiting for me to start a conversation. I don't. She returns to her book. The flimsy paperback has a pink cover. Engulfed in her book again, she blushes, raises the book up before her face. I roll my eyes. As if the pink paperback cover wasn't enough to give the thing away as housewife soft-core porn. The title weirds me out, though. Who in their right mind would call a romance book 'Love on the Rinse-Cycle'?
Right. Romance novelists. Forget that 'right mind' part.
Up until recently, I couldn't figure out what Heero did about his laundry. I mean, he has to do laundry sometime - he wears clothes, after all. As far as you can call those second-skin bike shorts and the flimsy tank top clothes. My first guess was that he didn't, that he just kept one outfit, judging clothes a luxury. I was wrong.
Found out when I went to his room a week back. Was only going there to borrow some of his notes for one of our classes. Yeah, it's just for cover, but might as well get decent report cards, right? Anyway, it was his own fault he left the door unlocked. Not my fault the piece of twisted wire I accidentally poked into his lock opened it.
Okay, so I got nosy. I mean, the guy is a damn mystery. Who can fall down a building and walk away with just a broken leg - which he sets back into place on his lonesome - and heal that quickly? Not like he's willing to talk about it, either. Last time I tried to make him open up, he stripped my Gundam.
Back in one of the closets, I found his secret. Sure, he washed his clothes - which he had more of than I'd have thought. There was a decent selection in his closet. At the bottom was a small, round ball-like thing, almost like a raffle engine - you know, the kind with handles that spin around? That's how he did his laundry - in his room, with this manual tumbler thingy. There were some detergents and fabric softeners there too, as well as clothes pegs and a rolled-up drying line.
Of course, Heero inconveniently chose that moment to return. Walked straight up to me, grabbed my shirt collar with both hands, a subtle shift of fingers away from strangling me, glared me dead in the eye with that piercing blue stare of his. I cringed a little, expecting him to punch my lights out for snooping through his stuff, or something. Didn't happen, though. He just kept looking at me for a good minute or two, then let me go.
Well, tossed me towards the door, more like. I think I muttered an apology. He glared at me again, and I left. He looked more pissed than I could ever remember seeing him, so I didn't want to chance it.
There's a loud ping, signalling the end of one cycle. Now to toss the batches into the driers, and wait some more. I sigh.
Next time, maybe I'll bring a book too.
Wonder if Heero keeps a diary...?