"Go away she told me." As she poured bleach onto her whites.
Waving at the lady who worked there, I asked her to let me in. She walked away from the glass door so as to escape my view.
Standing in the rain, my clothes in need of cleaning . . . how could they act like this?
The lady doing her wash - at that point inserting quarters so as to start the machine - ignored me.
I began to knock continuously on the door until she finally turned around to give me a dirty look.
"Please let me in!" I asked her again. "I need to do laundry - I need to clean my clothes just like you."
"Look!" she said, pointing to the clock on the wall. "It's after 9:30."
"Of course it's after 9:30 now! I've been standing outside the door for the past five minutes trying to get in!"
"It's too late! You don't have enough time to wash your clothes before they close."
"But you're just starting your load" I cried. "And a girl down there hasn't even finished loading her clothes in yet!"
The ladies inside continued to ignore me - besides the middle aged on standing directly in front of the door, he continued to glare at me as if I was some sort of stray dog that had soiled her evening attire.
Rain began to soak through my casket and drip on my face.
Despite my requests to come in - my plea to let me have one of the basic human needs that we all share, clean clothes, fulfilled . . . my threat to never come back again (which I don't plan on), and to tell my friends not to come back either (one of the reasons I'm writing this), they didn't listen.
Turning to leave, I saw a youngerman, one of the guys who learns in the Kolel here in Crown Heights, come towards me.
"Do you need to do laundry?" He asked. "We noticed you from the window . . . you can come to my place and wash your clothes."
He pointed to the window of the apartment building across the street. The figure of his wife silhouetted in the yellow light of the window spilling out into the gray street on a nasty day.
He let me do laundry in his house . . . I'm sure I've seen his face around before . . . But we've never spoken.
Technorati Tags: Life, New York, Laundry, Rain, Jews, Venice, Italy, Photography