Saturday, May 22, 2010
Ray Halliday: His Socks and Underwear Are More Interesting Than Yours
A little old Asian guy was walking past my laundromat the other day, and when he looked in and saw my underwear and socks circling around in the dryer, the dryer right next to the window, he stopped. In fact, I would say that he stopped abruptly. I would say that my socks and underwear going around in the dryer stopped him in his tracks. I watched him as he looked through the window, fascinated. Not all crazy and wacked out watching, but thoughtful, interested, a zen-like study of my socks and underpants all going around in the dryer.
I tried to figure out what his fascination was all about, but couldn't get a handle on it. He didn't seem mesmerized or anything, didn't seem drunk or homeless, didn't seem to be looking at my drawers with longing to steal them, or take them home. He was just thoughtfully looking at them. He, by the way, seemed to take no notice of me, behind the folding table, whatsoever. I was the only one in there.
And, he was only interested in my stuff. There were plenty of other dryers going around in there. Plenty of much more interesting colors and textures tumbling around. He could have looked at any of these. But he did not.
A few minutes later he actually left the window outside, and came into the laundromat, sat down, pointed his eyes, his face, his chest, and the whole of his attention toward my dryer, my stuff, slowly changing from what we call wet, to what we call dry.
Finally, it saddened me to have to take my stuff out, but time was up, no more tumbling.
As I left, he looked up, knowingly at me, and I nodded at him, letting him know that, yes, there would be other dryers that would come along in his life, dryers as interesting as mine. He nodded back to me, his eyes, ever so hopeful.
Now, this, as awesome as it may seem, in no way tops the time about ten years ago, when I was loading a dryer in that very same laundromat, and felt someone behind me, close, looking over my shoulder, into my dryer. When I looked back at the guy, quizzically, he simply looked into my dryer, smiled and said, "Nice load."