In the laundrette

January 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s cracking the flags out there. The woman has paused in the middle of folding a pile of sheets and she’s come to the door of the laundrette, which is propped open to get some air in.

You don’t get many people in on an afternoon like this. Nobody wants to be in here, staring at their washing going round and round, when they could be out in their garden or down the park, enjoying the June sunshine.

She’s work to do though. Six service washes to get through and dried, and the big dryer’s on the blink again so she’s waiting for her boss to call the engineer out. That, and sweeping up the fluff and wiping everything down. The lass that helps her sometimes, her kids come in, and whilst the woman likes children, loves it when her grandchildren come to visit, she hates the sticky fingerprints everywhere.

She’s thinking about how it was when her Stanley was alive – forty years back now,  an accident at the docks – and how they’d take the bus up to the beach on a Saturday, take a picnic. Even now, if she goes out with Doreen and Kathleen and the ladies from the Monday Club, she always takes her sandwiches and her flask. Doesn’t see the point in buying food out, and she was never sure about restaurants. She’d rather have her pack-up.

Ice cream’s different, though. She’d happily have an ice cream on an afternoon like this, be that half-visible old woman on a bench enjoying her 99 cone in the sunshine.

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