I ate the reeses in the laundromat after finding my car key on top of the washing machine.

I was sitting in that cold metal chair attached to those other cold metal chairs. I’m pretty sure laundromat chairs are just airport chairs with all of the fabric and padding removed. This guy walks in the door and says “is that your little car?” I think – you know – what an awful way to start a sentence. Is that your child? (running into the street?) Is that your dog (where is he, is he okay?) Is that your house (on fire? Is it on fire?) You’re leaking some fluid. Okay, thanks.

I’m not concerned about my car. I’m concerned that he walked right in and went right up to me and knew that my fluids were leaking. Not his or hers or someone running in the mini-mart for a quick smoke, no, none of those other people, all inconsequential, background noise. It’s some cruel joke the universe is playing on me. I’m passat girl.

I get nervous about this, crafting some story in my head. He lives in the parking lot. He’s tracked my laundry schedule. He’s out there hiding under my car with a knife like my parents warned me about, ready to switchblade my ankles and steal my purse. I peer out the window and the woman reading people magazine gives me a queer look like she’s worried about my cars fluids too.

I figure I should go out and look, make sure my car isn’t on fire, see if things are in order, but my key is gone. I look everywhere for it, being careful to not leave anything out of my purse that I hadn’t lost already. I dig through my clothes. I look suspiciously at the bottle of laundry detergent. I eye the woman next to me. There’s a plot going on about this car business now. Maybe this man has stolen my car. Is my car still there?

I find the key on top of the washing machine. I ask the woman loading her clothes into it if the key is hers. She looks at me crookedly and says no, so I take it. I suppose I’m not really sure if the car is mine, then. Maybe I’m waiting for someone else to take ownership of it. I go out and give it a good pat for starting up. I head back instead to get my clothes.

My mouth tastes like peanut butter and I have a grand feeling of indifference.

It’s like finishing a book and thinking … that’s it?


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