Saturday, April 24, 2004

Every time I do my laundry, I learn more about my neighbors. There are either some people or one person who have/has a bit of difficulty remembering to retrieve their laundry from the dryer. I feel awkward removing their clothes, but it has to be done: there are only two washers and two dryers for the whole building. But every time I have to do it, I'm waiting, shoulders hunched up around my ears, for the owner of the clothes to walk in.
I really shouldn't be paying any attention to what's in the handfuls of fabric that I'm hastily tugging at and piling on the table. But I don't know anyone in this building, and so I'll never be sure whose clothes they are.
This time, after yanking out a load of men's clothes (green towels, blue polo shirts, pink-and-grey striped boxers), there was at the bottom a silky thong. Now, I didn't take a closer look at it, so I have to wonder. Is it his? Is it his girlfriend's, or his wife's? Did his one night stand slip in in there so that he would call her? I'll never know, and honestly I don't really want to. I've already spent more time thinking about the underwear of someone I don't know than I really should.

But I've since finished drying my laundry, and he hasn't come by to pick up his clothes. So I wondered if I should put them back in the dryer. He'd never know, wouldn't likely be going 'fee fie foe fum, I smell the blood of...that girl in 102!' But the whole train of thought made me increasingly uncomfortable. I just packed up my clothes and walked back down the hall. They're still sitting there in the basket by the couch, waiting to be folded. And I'm positive they all belong to me.

Also, just so you know, I'm very embarrassed when I go to the grocery store about how much junk food I consume. That's not accurate, actually. My consumption doesn't embarrass me in the least. It's how much I buy that I'm embarrassed by. And so I make up these elaborate stories in my head, just in case anyone asks why I have all this crap. It's not something that ever happens, but I like to be prepared. 'I have a rare disease that can only be kept in balance with potato chips and french onion dip. They metabolize at different rates, so it keeps me stable.' 'I'm on that hip new ice cream diet.' 'It's my little sister's birthday, and we're having a party.'
But no one has ever confronted me about it, and so I've never had to test whether or not I would tell my story or simply blush to my toenails and run away, leaving my half-full cart in the middle of the aisle.

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