I don't want to start this, but I have to. Once I start I will not be able to stop in fear of leaving important details out. This may not be important to anyone, but it is important to me, and I think the universe would not be the same without it. You may wonder what it is that I am going to write, but in the end you may still not know what it is that I wrote. Does that make sense? Probably not. After today not much makes sense anymore. How could I have lived for 23- almost 24 years, and not known of its existence? Is it God? Definitely not. But does it have the same "Ahhh" and "Oooo" factor of the Christian God? Definitely. At least in my opinion it does.
It all started when I looked at my bedroom floor today. I noticed that my laundry pile was not getting any smaller and even though I sat down with my clothes and told them to get with the 21st century and wash themselves they had not obliged. Insert sigh here. "We should definitely go to the laundromat today" I told Shawn. I looked up the directions on mapquest. There were other laundromats closer but they had all negative reviews and this one had none.
Odd Sock Laundry. From the outside it looked completely normal and there were hardly any cars parked in front, so we knew we had a good chance of scoring some empty washers.
Odd Sock Laundry. Let's break down the name shall we. Odd Sock. Laundry. Odd. Sock. Laundry. That pretty much sums up the place. But there is so much more to tell you. The details may make your head explode. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I can't even begin to describe the decor in this place let alone the wallpaper. It was completely outdated. Flowers and weird crisscross vines everywhere. Big blue and pink flowers. I believe the background color used to be white but is now tan.
We bring our baskets in and look for an open washer. I see three. I load three loads in tell Shawn to get some quarters when I notice that these machines do not take quarters. They take tickets. Shawn pays for 5 tickets. The tickets themselves are clear plastic with black formations on them. I feel like they used to belong inside computers or were props from The Matrix. We find a washer on the other side that takes quarters, not tickets. And after hunting around I find a 5th washer that is free. All of the washers are old. Very very old (that may explain why most of the washers are out of order). But they don't have complicated settings. So you don't have to sit there and figure out what fabric types you have, or what temperature the wash or rinse should be. You just put the clothes and detergent in, insert your ticket and that's it.
At this point I have seen two random socks in different places just hanging out. And by the end of the whole experience I see a few more socks. I wonder to myself if someone really did forget their sock or if the owners are trying to be funny. Then I meet the owner. A small feisty Asian woman who is seriously nosy and seriously distant at the same time. she pops back in the large room from time to time to tell us something and then disappears into a dark abyss. If this were a castle, her guards would be piles of laundry that lead into a dark room with a sign above the entrance that reads "tanning customers only." Wait a minute..this laundromat doubles as a tanning salon? I try to inquire further but I can't see anything that would point the answer to yes. ALL I see is piles of laundry.
Next to the washers are three quarter machines (two have assorted shitty plastic rings and toys, and the other has gumballs- which are probably petrified at this point) and there is an empty cigarette machine. Across from this area of crap is what looks to me like an indoor chicken coup. Painted green. Inside this pseudo chicken coup are two tables. Oh and by the way, it looks like there is no way to get into the little chicken wired up room either. On one of the tables are a bunch of porcelain figurines. They look like they were bought at Family Dollar. Are they for sale? Are they there just to look at? Who the fuck knows.
I pick up a magazine and proceed to the "Gaming Area" where "No children are allowed" which totally makes sense... Anyway, there is a pool table with two pool cubes. One has duck tape holding it together. The pool table has about fifty (read 3) large padlocks on the part that you put quarters in. Classy. The gaming area has a very very tacky set of outdoor patio furniture, with very very tacky cushions of things I could not make out. Some of them had flowers but some had what looked like horses or maybe dogs doing who knows what and who knows where. I seriously sat there for five minutes staring at the cushion and I still don't know what the hell was going on.
There are three video arcade games from at least 1985 and they are all out of order. Big surprise. The bathroom also had no toilet paper. There is a coke machine and even though it is plugged in and making that "I'm on and working" sort of noise, I still don't take my chances. Not to mention all of the cans in the display windows are crushed. Which is kind of weird to me. I mean if you're going to display something to represent which soda you're selling shouldn't it be a nice representation? Maybe not. Who knows.
And last but not least, there is a toy claw machine. Here were the toys that were inside: one gray cat in a compromising position, one naked troll holding a baseball bat, one tidy teddy bear wedged in the corner, one red fish with a look that screams "GET ME OUT OF HERE", one dirty raccoon, two baby donald ducks in sailor outfits, an alien basketball player from the movie Space Jam, one rainbow dog, one pink bear with a tie that amazingly enough matches the wallpaper, one purple gorilla who appears to be wearing bondage gear, a green person with a twirly mustache and top hat, one very large pink mouse and something very fury in a plastic bag buried at the bottom.
After staring at the toys for much, much too long I checked my clothes. I added some fabric softener and before I could finish I noticed the over abundance of fake plants ALL around me. Fake palm trees and flowers galore. Then I noticed a pile of PVC pipes and a door with no where to go. There were also two broken televisions with no remotes in sight. Oh did I mention there was also a copy machine? You know just in case you had to make copies. Apparently the place had WIFI too, but I seriously doubt that is true.
My clothes are done. Now to just find some dryers to dry them! Seems like an easy enough task. Nope. Most of the dryers are ta-da! out of order. The owner must know this because she scurries past me to unload two dryers thus making them free for us. Shawn gets more quarters and we sit and wait for the clothes to dry. The dryers are also straight out of a 1970's movie.
I don't think anyone else in the city is aware of this laundromat. We were after all the only ones in there. But maybe the residents of LV are fans of the drop off laundry service, hence the piles of clothes everywhere.
As I'm finally unloading my clothes to fold someone calls the main line. She answers "Hi may I help you?" so quick it sounds like all she has said is "himayhelpoo." She listens for ten seconds then puts the phone down to unload another dryer. I can hear the person on the other line talking non stop. Then she comes back to the phone and hangs it up. Alrighty then. I put my clothes in the rolly basket and head to a clear counter. Shawn takes his clothes by the pile and heads towards the counter. The woman informs Shawn that he can use the rolly basket too. He says 'okay' but does not take her advice.
All the clothes are folded up. We now have clean clothes, two plastic skull rings that fit neither of our fingers, and an image imbedded in our brains that we cannot, will not, ever forget. We leave.
I imagine 6 months from now, Shawn and I being regulars at this mind fuck of a place. The asian woman knows us by name and sometimes has yummy treats for us. We all laugh and be merry and all shit. But for now she is the Asian lady at the Odd Sock and we are the weird white couple who didn't know what laundry tickets were.