Wednesday Afternoon at the Laundry and Tan


“Girl, I know I’m fine! I’ve got five different restraining orders against five different guys!”

I continued separating whites from colors, feeling like a laundry racist.

I scanned the place inconspicuously to find the source of the comment.

A girl, perhaps 19, (honestly I can’t tell anymore) along with her friend, approximately the same age (I guess) were folding laundry at the next bank of machines.

Her friend replied “You shouldn’t have gotten that restraining order against Carlos. Girl, he is fine!”

“It don’t matter. He still comes over. He hit me up last night and I was like ‘You better leave me alone of I’ll get you locked up again.”

“Girl, you crazy. I thought you was with Jamal last night.”

With this she bent over to pick up a runaway sock.

Her shirt rode up, revealing her tan lower back and tattoo, made up of indecipherable writing

I weighed the pros and cons of becoming restraining order number six.

“I was with Jamal last night! That’s why I told Carlos to fuck off!”

“Girl, your love life sure is complicated.”

“Duh! That’s why I need so many restraining orders! Without them, I be havin mothuhfuckuhs comin by all day and night. Remember when DeShawn came by and Andre was over? Andre got locked up for three months for that shit. Violated his probation and everything. Then he got out and just came by. I didn’t even know he was out. He and Reggie got into a fight and he went right back to jail. Girl, I miss Andre. Sometimes I think he is the one.”

I dumped detergent into the washer, inserted six quarters and pretended to read.

“Andre is the one for a lot of people.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?!”

“Just that I know a girl, who said her sister is Andre’s baby mama and I know another girl who says the same thing.”

“Of course he got a lot of kids! Haven’t you ever seen any nature shows, girl?!”

“What do nature shows have to do with you and Andre?”

“Girl, people are just like lions. He is the dominant male and I am the dominant female. That’s why he got so many baby mamas and I got so many restraining orders.”

“Oh, I never thought of it that way.”

“Girl, it’s a good thing you pretty, because you sure is dumb. Let’s get outta here. I gotta get ready.”

“For what?”

“Whatchu think?! I got a date!”

“With Malik?”

“Girl, where you been? Malik and I broke up last week. You haven’t met this one yet. His name is Reggie and he is rich!”

“What he do?”

“I don’t know, but I think he might be the one.”

“What about Andre?”

“What about Andre?! Andre gone!”

“Girl, your love life sure is complicated.”


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