Its name is “The Flamingo” but there’s nothing to indicate that species has ever lived here. There’s been no attempt to beautiful the surroundings or clean up the parking lot. An aura of desperation and fatigue hangs in the air and I approach the door with loathing.
As I enter the door the honkytonk music washes over me. I weave my way over to a row of machines that are unclaimed. Why do I need to do this over and over and over? Will this need ever end?
Slowly everyone’s heads turn my direction and the furtive glances begin; with heads lowered, sizing me up as they protect their stations. Nobody greets me or speaks. They don’t want to be here either. It is true…misery loves company.
The coins hang heavy in my pocket, but I dare not set down a purse in this kind of place, so I keep my money close to me. To play these games you need a steady stream of quarters…..but there are no winners. We’ll all return again sooner or later.
Sweat oozes down my back, plastering my shirt to my body. I wish I had thought to put my hair up; it’s sticking to my face and neck in sweaty discomfort. The others lose interest in me as I start the process and they return to their own machines.
There’s no relief in this cramped, steamy cinder box building. Everyone’s face looks as blank as mine as I numbly go through the motions, plugging quarters into the machines like zombies, and waiting for the pay off.
I just want to get it over with and get out of here. I’m only here for a brief time and at best will have a cold drink and if lucky, a quick tumble.
A sign forbids the washing of any horse blankets…..I’m hoping cat bedding is okay.
It’s laundry day at the Flamingo Car Wash and Laundry