Stealing Laundry


I like stealing laundry.

Not whole dryer loads but one piece at a time. Randomly pull it out and put it in my basket then take it back to my place. And I don’t see it until I fold all the stuff. Then I find it and wear it.

And it could be anything. Socks. Pants. T-shirts. Underthings. Sweaters. Seasonal things. But only if it fits. Sort of. I draw the line with kids’ stuff. Which can be tough seeing there’s some rather large kids these days. And only once then I wash it and back it goes. Sometimes I want to put a little note on it. Saying hey is this yours? I almost wrote thanks with a smiley face but didn’t. That would be creepy. Sometimes I wonder if I have a personality disorder but then think if I did would I wonder about it? I don’t really want to be someone else. Only sometimes.

Which leads me to this key. Had it for years. Been on every keychain I’ve ever had. I don’t know what it unlocks.

So in an act of renunciation I am swearing off the stealing of laundry and have dedicated myself to the opposite of renouncing (which I’m not sure what that is but maybe a quest?) and will apply with fortitude and a right mind on finding the lock for this key.

My therapist looked at me, what askance? Which I took was more a comment on me being his Thursday night 8:15. How the fuck anyone can get out of 9-5 work enough to spill their guts to a nodding stranger is a mystery to me. Not as much as the key but close to it. And if it was directed at me, the askance look, then that’s unprofessional and or maybe more than just a consequence of me being his 8:15 Thursday. It’s enough to keep one’s shit together punching a clock so once 5:01 rolls around some may have the tendency to lose their shit if not sooner.

He just slapped his hands on his knees like he was bidding adieu to a grandchild of a son he didn’t see too often and never really got to know but felt a certain undefinable kinship. The son that is and the grandson was just incidental. My insurance was a slow payer, too, he reminded me with a chuckle as I wrote out the check.

I walked to my car out back. An aging Corolla, it sat a little forlornly, a dent in the left front quarter panel from where a shopping cart rolled into it in the Food Lion parking lot the day after I got it. Saw it happened like slow motion, like my life flashing before my eyes. Somebody just kind of pushed it in the general direction of the corral and a wind swept down off 521 and spun it around and it rattled and rolled down hill right into my car. The single light in the parking lot kind of just filled in the dent with light. And of course I noticed it. But that’s me.

Over next to the one light pole in the lot sat a Lexus 400 ZX with dual under head cams and 6,000 ponies under the hood or something like that. I don’t know cars and when I don’t know something I can get can of snarky. Alls I know is how it was paid for by people who steal laundry and have keys to locks they don’t the whereabouts of.

Out there on the back stoop looking up at the invisible stars I scratched my nose with the knuckle of my right index finger and snuffled. Someone had just mown a lawn and the smell of onion grass tickled my nose. The scent made me sad, longing for days that once were and would never be again so I decided to call it bittersweet and leave it at that.

I sniffed the collar of my Descendents t-shirt. Meh, there was time for a quick load when I got home. Can’t say I didn’t try.


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