I drop the quarters in the dryer and hear that satisfying clink as my clothes started to spin. I sit down and am immediately engrossed in my book. Despite the draw of the words in my hands, after a few minutes I get the strange feeling that I’m being watched. I shrug it off and continue reading.
When the feeling won’t go away, I look up and scan the room around me. My eyes move from the young man chasing down a toddler as his very pregnant wife takes clothes from a dryer to the obviously single man staring at the back of a laundry detergent bottle in confusion. Everyone is living their lives and definitely not paying attention to me.
I shake my head and go back to my book. The feeling grows stronger and I look up just in time to see a man in his mid-thirties putting wet clothes in the dryer next to mine. I watch him long enough to see him cast a surreptitious glance in my direction. When he realizes I’ve noticed, he smiles at me shyly.
He walks over and sits one chair away from me. I give him points for respecting my personal space. He smiles again and says, “Do you come here often?” My eyes meet his a moment before we both groan and then laugh.
After we’ve caught our breath, he says, “Let me try that again. Hi, my name is Stephen.” I shake his offered hand and reply with a smile, “I’m Molly. And to answer your question, yes I’m here every week.”
He blushes again and I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a man blush. Men my age just don’t blush. Apparently they are all to cool for that. Or at least they think they are too cool.
“This is my first time here.” Stephen’s voice pulls me out of my not so nice thoughts about men in general. “I just moved into the neighborhood.”
“Oh? Where from?” I ask and the small talk begins. Nothing too heavy and with some light flirting thrown in for interest. I’m tempted to tell him that flirting in a laudromat is passé but realize just in time that I’m really not the type of person that uses the word passé. Besides, he’s cute and I realize that I like it.
A shout of “Hey lady, are you done with this dryer or what?” makes me realize I’ve lost all track of time. I blush and go grab my clothes from their round holding cell.
Did she just blush? Most women my age think they are too sophisticated for that. My pleasure at knowing she’s not like that is only slightly diminished by my lingering embarrassment at inadvertently saying what sounded like a horrible pickup line. I’m amazed she’s still talking to me.
Not that I was trying to pick her up. Was I? No of course not. Just trying to make new friends. Yeah right. You don’t pick your friends because they have gorgeous, long strawberry-blonde hair or laughing blue eyes. Well, you’re not supposed to.
More to come? You tell me if it's worth the effort.