The laundromat I go to here in Santa Monica is a truly magical place… at least I think so. The energy of the patrons vary from the band of Escalade driving moms with tons of laundry and even more kids to the guy on the street who has to stand outside asking for change in order to gather the funds necessary to clean his blankets. And then there are the in betweens like the guy who LOVES to talk to everyone and anyone who will look his way or the extremely trendy young twenty somethings who are probably on their own for the first time.
My favorite night to do laundry is actually Saturday, after I get paid for flower deliveries. Jesus is a guitar playing guy in his very early twenties who works there, and while he works his band comes in and they sort of practice together serenading all of the customers. Jesus is an overly animated and charming fellow who loves talking, singing and dancing. In fact one night he danced the tango all over the laundromat with another young girl who he just met. It was really sweet.
The energy in there is always different, but for whatever reason it is always vibrant and alive.
It’s a great place to do random acts of kindness as well. Usually, when I go in there, I clean “house” and reorganize everything in my tour bus as my clothes dry. I often go through my trunk and take out the clothes I never wear anymore realizing that they are taking up too much space and that I never really wore some of them that much anyway, so sometimes I give them to the family who works there. I love giving to them, because they are honestly happy to take the clothes off my hands and I love how pleasantly surprised they are when I offer them a bag of clothes and shoes.
I love how one night the owner of the place was in there sort of harassing one of the “homeless” patrons (well, I don’t love that part) for trying to squeeze too much laundry into a small machine when he obviously didn’t have enough change to pay for a bigger one. He threatened to call the cops if he ever saw him try to do that again. As I watched the homeless guy be reprimanded for simply doing the best he could with what he had, I noticed he looked down the whole time, like a child… he just stared at his feet and mumbled, “Yes sir.” It was kind of ridiculous since plenty of people probably had change to donate toward his need to wash his blankets, but maybe didn’t feel comfortable getting involved. After the owner walked away, I gave the guy some of my change and some dryer sheets for when his clothes were ready to dry… after all, doesn’t everyone deserve to have their blankets smell like lavender fields? I think so. The homeless man also didn’t make eye contact with me… maybe he didn’t feel worthy? However, the man working that night smiled at me and said, “Thank you.”
I love the two guys who talk my ear off whenever we cross paths there. I love how vastly different we are yet how much I learn about different ways of being and thinking and I love that I get to practice having a very open mind while staying true to my values whenever I sit and listen. I love the other “homeless” guy who often sits outside asking for change who loves when I stop and chat for awhile. I love trying to keep up with his erratic and sort of poetic speech patterns. He often jumps from one subject to another without ever making a point. I think he has such a busy mind and doesn’t get to talk to people much, so when he does talk, he tries to say everything he has been thinking. It really is beautiful and I love being there to listen and share my thoughts if I can keep up.
I really do love doing my laundry at this place. Not only because my whole car is clean and smells of lavender fields afterward, but because there is so much colorful energy to take in and observe, and so much to give out through smiles, conversation and of course through donations to people or my favorite part: leaving change in a washer so the next patron won’t have to pay as much when they do their laundry.
Yup, I really do love the laundromat.