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Contents Page: January 1, 2012, vol 7 no 4

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Francis W. Alexander


A Winter's Day at the Laundromat

After being pushed through the doors by the chilly wind, I smell the sweet scent of washing powder as I walk between the rows of Laundromat washers. Standing in front of the dryers, I watch a child attempt to force an empty detergent box into the small mouth of a trashcan.

On the wall above the dryers the owners have mounted washing items from the past. A plastic washboard brings back memories of the wooden one with metallic ribs that my grandmother used. I never saw her use it, but I remember the long line that held the wet clothes and sheets flapping in the wind in my backyard.

The child continues to be a "helper" as his mother talks. She brushes his hands away from the laundry basket and gives him a bag of Doritos. I look up and spot an old box of Argo starch. When I was younger, Grandma would let me eat them. Those little bits of carbohydrate were very tasty and when she wasn't around, I'd eat almost a quarter of the box's contents in one go.

munching on chips –
the loud snap of an icicle
near the window


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