Titus Andronicus: "Well That Escalated Quickly"Romeo and Juliet: "Shut Up, You’re Like 12"Julius Caesar: "I Came Out Here to Run the Roman Empire and I Am Honestly Feeling So Attacked Right Now"Hamlet: "[AGGRESSIVELY PRETENDS TO GO INSANE AND IN THE PROCESS GOES ACTUALLY INSANE…
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Laundry day, it wasn’t the best day ever… but it was pretty close in this girl’s opinion. Granted, it was a little weird. All day spent in a building that was perpetually dirty despite being the place you cleaned your clothes. Not to mention the people who don’t quite know how to interact with others trying to keep to themselves as they slowly run down the batteries on their cellphones. There were good things about it too, though. Like… well… Okay, so maybe she was a lot weird for liking the activity, but it didn’t hurt anyone.
Kaylyn bounced happily on top of her washing machine, waiting for the time to run down so she could throw all of her clothes into a dryer… which she would have to run twice, because they’d been a bit on the fritz lately. She’d look around on occasion, noting all of the usual faces here on a Sunday afternoon. It was an out of the way Laundromat, so it was never horribly busy… who wanted to do laundry in the middle of the corn? … But there were enough people that the woman felt safe, and even tried striking up conversations every once in a while.
It seemed she hadn’t been looking when a young man rolled up to the machine next to the two she had claimed and started sorting. When she did finally notice him, it was with a slight start. He was… new. She knew she hadn’t seen him before. She had been coming here far too long, and knew all the faces… well, there were always people that just happened to come on Sundays too. Maybe he had just moved to town, and was waiting for his machines to get installed. Asking him would be the right thing to do, but imagining stories for strangers was fun… wasn’t it? Why else come to people watch.
The young woman was in the middle of her thoughts when the very same man addressed her, and she looked like a deer caught in headlights as she looked down at him. “Hmm?” she hummed, his words already lost on her. Come on, Kay. You can figure this out. “Oh! Sorry! Right, of course.” Her cheeks flushed pink as she leaned over her crossed legs to take the change from him and insert it into the machine. “You need any of these settings changed, or?”
Tate smiled wider as she hopped down from her perch and assisted him, the pink tinge of her cheeks a rather charming touch. Young townie girl boggled by the new guy, he imagined. But she was pretty for being stranded in the boonies and he certainly couldn’t complain about the sunlight playing through her hair. He shook his head to return from mental lollygagging.
"Ah, if it’s on a normal setting, it should be alright. I’m not familiar with these machines, so correct me if I’m way off base." He moved back a little so he was not directly in her way of reaching the dials, turning himself parallel to the well-loved communal bench. It’s surface had been chewed by age, etchings of love and boredom marring the surface. He imagined this laundromat had some stories to tell.
"Thanks for the help. I’m Tate, it’s nice to meet you." He held out his hand for a shake, confident and warm to the touch. It could have been the gloves, but most could just chock it up to who Tate was. A man like himself oozed an unearthly confidence.
Tate had been shipped out to the middle of Nebraska to cover a developing story for the Times. When he accepted the assignment, he was sure that the situation would find resolve quickly enough and packed his suitcase accordingly.
It was now week three and he had no clothes left to his name. Instead of paying exorbitant prices for hotel laundering services, Tate asked the woman at the front desk “Where a cheapskate New Yorker could find a good ol’ fashioned laundromat”
Tate was experienced in this type of laundry day; throughout his college years, he’d stacked his lap two bundles high with dirty clothes and linens for an all- day camp out in the local ‘mat; usually, he’d get a fair amount of reading done during the cycles and lunch across the street at the Chinese joint.
But here, in the heart of Nebraska, the only thing across the street was corn, corn, and more corn. Tate couldn’t help but dredge up the midnight showing of Children of the Corn as he rolled into the laundromat. Shivering the nightmares of demonic possession down his spine and out of mind, he found a set of washers that wouldn’t be too hard to manage on his own and settled down to sort between lights and darks, one pile on his lap and the other back into the bag.
As he finished loading the first bunch in and closing the door and loading the detergent, he rooted around in his satchel for spare change.
When he finally gathered up enough rock bottom change, he looked for the coin slot and was backhanded with dismay. Out of reach… of course it was. Tate Bowen looked around the mat, hoping someone who wasn’t the surly woman behind the counter would assist him.
"Pardon me," he asked of Kay, his smile inviting and brimming with charm, " I can’t seem to reach the coin slot. Would you mind-?" He indicated the slot, his chair, and the change in his hand with one fluid motion.