Laundry Mat Ruminations

His speech was soft, but not quite slurred, and you at first wondered whether he was just a thoughtful man or slow-witted. After eavesdropping for an awkward amount of time he fell forcefully into the latter. His New York Giant’s jacket was shockingly blue, puffy and simultaneously fresh but old. I knew without having to ask that he had owned the jacket since space out of time; however, as the only representation of better days, he kept it in meticulous condition. Perhaps he even struck out at his wife once for wearing it while shoveling off the driveway. It stood out in stark contrast to his faded jeans and equally old converse sneakers.
His teeth were crooked and he smiled in a way that made people feel uneasy, but his heart was genuine.
His wife was with him for lack of other options.
I liked to believe that she were capable of love. I liked to believe that she were capable of loving him—from his $3 haircut to his rotund stomach. But the truth was that she stuck with him for lack of other options. Even if you lacked the eyes to see the way she followed other men around the laundry mat, you heard it in her voice as she talked down to the only man who bothered to forget there had ever been other options.
There was so much to be said in “lack of other options,” because you practically felt it drip with the promise of failure. At some point in time there were a countless, endless amount of options—so much so that you never bothered to think the faucet could rust and the water turn to a trickle then dust.
I imagined her as a young girl with a curvy body which only hinted that she would slowly slide into the lower end of morbidly obese. I imagined a time when she had a clearly defined chin. But as a young girl with large breasts and a larger derriere, neither she nor the men who slept with her cared that her stomach would eventually follow suit. What a shame no one cared in the face of such attributes that her personality was probably as plain as her face.
I imagined she dreamt that one day she would be carried into the financially successful sunset by her prince charming with amazing pectorals.
And for a while that even seemed like a possibility. I saw a young girl who found her football playing boyfriend with an above average amount of talent, and yet, not quite enough to get the college scholarship. She found what she hoped would be her football playing cash cow with amazing pectorals that stumbled, stammered and wandered into an overweight nobody with a prized New York Giant’s jacket.
But they were still people.
They loved, in their own fashion, just as intensely as everyone else.
They wanted something better, in their own fashion, just as sadly as everyone else.
They settled, in their own fashion, just as everyone else.
At the end of the day, regardless of what you may do, say or see, you’re still just as pathetic as everyone else.

Laundry Mat Ruminations

Dave Legere

Joined January 2008

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practice

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fiction short

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