A rather good looking black man in his 50s sitting on a chair not minding his own business: “Have you ever worked on a ranch?”
I turn around to see who he’s talking to, obviously it’s me. I shrug with my nervous snicker style laugh and answer No?
I stuff my darks in a first machine, then the colored stuff in another. I launch both washers, and look around the laundromat. I consider a place to sit, my options are limited. I can sit next to what appears to be a crazy cat lady hogging up a bench made for 5 , or sit next to the rather good looking black man in his 50s who’s sitting next to the only available chair. I opt for handsome over crazy. “So why’d you ask me if I’d worked on a ranch?”
I’m wearing short shorts, a black t-shirt that says ‘Mind Your Muse’ and tan nubuck knee-high boots. But I’m intrigued, and hope this will be the beginning of a very interesting conversation with a total stranger in a seedy part of town. Who ever said life had to be boring, especially on a Friday night at the laundromat.
“Because you walk like a cowgirl,” he says with a hint of alcohol on his breath. I laughed my nervous laughter. Again.
“You’re not from around here, are you?” he asks shaking my hand and holding it way beyond the protocol for politeness.
“No, I’m from Montreal,” I answer gently pulling my hand away wondering how I could discreetly wipe it on my shorts without him noticing it.
And then, as I would have guessed it, he’d confessed everything. He’s been to Canada many times back in his party days. His golden tooth shines as he laughs about Vancouver… From the smell of him, his party days are far from over.
Later as I fold my clothes, and he chooses a spot within my inner circle at the table next to me to fold his own, it’s hard to distance myself from my stand on how I’d never worked on a ranch, or that I was indeed not a cowgirl. “What are all those bandannas for?” he asks.
I don’t know about you, but folding laundry is actually a very private thing. My anal tendencies of making sure my freshly washed and dried clothes are wrinkle-free far surpass my need for privacy. Air my clean laundry in public I must.
“It’s a roller derby thing,” and now I’ve entered the lion’s den. I went from feeding his weird cowgirl fantasies to being a roller derby chick. Uh oh. He stares as I fold my Coyote Ugly t-shirt, a mountain of thigh-high socks, and a series of boy-short underwear. Feeling utterly self-conscious I decide underwear can be wrinkled, making an on-the-spot executive decision I bunch up all that is left of my undies and toss ’em in my mesh laundry bag.
I enter my little bubble and focus on my task as I silently question myself do I really walk like a cowgirl? I grab my bag and strap it across my shoulder and try to take note of my walk. The rather good looking black man in his 50s makes his way out, and heads straight for the bus stop. My charitable self wants to offer him a ride home.
Because my inner guardian angel self is screaming obscenities at me with a much louder voice than the charitable one, I make my way to my own ride, and drive my red Chevy-I’m-not-a-cowgirl-pickup-truck back home.
Again, who ever said life had to be boring, especially on a Friday night at the laundromat…
This is a Studio 30 Plus writing prompt: “he’d confessed everything.” I’ve not written a prompted story in a long time. I’m glad to be back in the saddle, and I swear to god I’m not a cowgirl… Oh and this entire story is totally a true-true story. My life is never boring because I tend to attract the weirdness to it. It’s too much fun to deny, so I indulge whenever I can.