A Very Long Status Update Involving Laundry
Kate is slightly annoyed. It seems that The Laundry Hog and Kate have both chosen the same day to clean their clothes. Who is The Laundry Hog, you say? Kate has encountered him once, when he was finishing up and exiting the premises, so she knows he is a he. This guy takes up all six washers in the laundry building at one time and then all six dryers at one time. Last time Kate encountered this guy, she did her laundry at a friend’s apartment instead; her friend has her own washer and dryer.
Why doesn’t Kate have her own washer and dryer, you say? Why, because she plans on moving to another apartment, and that apartment might not have washer and dryer hook-ups like this one does. She hopes that next apartment will be in Oregon, and after that, a house in Oregon. Why not a house now? Because she doesn’t want to stay in Utah.
She and Just’In really are itching for a house; Just’In wants it because he’ll be 30 in two years and before then would be the ideal time to pick up a 30-year mortgage. Kate wants it so she doesn’t have to wait for Toby to nap to lock up the apartment and walk to and from the laundry building. She won’t have to hope that he doesn’t wake up and learn how to roll; right now, he’s okay because even when he’s mad, he stays mostly put.
Yes, Kate would like her own washer and dryer, but she asks Just’In to NOT surprise her with one, please. Back to the Laundry Hog— Kate encounter him today in the form of his stuff. Running in all six dryers, with no dryers leftover. That’s okay at first, because none of the washers are being used. But when Kate comes back half an hour later and he hasn’t retrieved his stuff, she has to peek at all the clothes he owns.
You see, Kate guesses, based on the amount of clothes and the frequency at which she encounters him, that he waits until everything he owns is dirty, except maybe the clothes he’s wearing, before he does laundry. She doesn’t examine the contents of every dryer, but she can’t help but feel intrigued at what she does find: three dryers with only three or four pairs of jeans (or pants with some similar thickness) each, obviously separated because he has little faith in the drying capacity of each dryer. And one dryer full of girls’ clothes.
Since she only needs two dryers, she is nice and picks two of the dryers with dry pants in them. She could have picked the dryer with wet pants in it, but it wouldn’t have dried her clothes well either. Kate carefully piles the pants into two separate piles on the counter space—she could have thrown them on the floor or in the large and empty trash can—just in case both sets didn’t belong to Laundry Hog after all.
Then she applies her two now-wet loads of colors/darks and whites to the two now-empty dryers and leaves. Toby is not crying or even awake. And an hour later, Kate retrieves her two loads of mostly-dry and now-clean clothes with nary a backwards glance to the still-present piles of clean pants on the counter space.
She imagines a vicious laundry war with an unidentifiable stranger, stemmed from her annoyance: stolen clothes (her laundry basket has already been stolen once— there’s a reason they call it petty), food coloring in a washer load of whites, things slashed and ripped, nasty scents dashed and flung everywhere… But it would end in nothing but whining and misplaced anger, since neither stranger knows names, resident numbers, or faces.
She shudders as she unlocks the door. And then Kate comes back to a freshly-awake Toby and exchanges pleasant smiles with him; finally, she sits down next to him to fold laundry, happy to have such pleasant company.