Coming Clean

Thirty years ago, as I went through my one and only year of grad school, I sometimes had to use the laundromat down the street. And I hated it. I swore, as God was my witness, that I would never do laundry outside my home again. And I have stuck to that pledge—excepting the time I had a bedbug infestation (the first one)—ever since.

Until now.

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And the wi-fi is pretty darn good, too.

So what brings me to the Wash Tub, a fine establishment not far from home? Well, it involves a cat, copious amounts of cat puke, and a comforter too big to fit into my washer. I sit amidst the rows of sleek stainless steel machinery, listen to the clothes tumbling in a dryer nearby, and think the nice Hispanic woman who seems to be in charge must have gotten a kick out the gangly Anglo who had no clue how to get the prepaid laundry card I needed to accomplish my task here. She was very patient.

So now, as the puke-stained comforter sloshes around in the washer, I think—I want a machine with a window in the front, so I can see the water and the suds at work, watch the dirty raiments—or comforter—slosh around in this cleansing environment. And then I think, hey, instead of just hypnotizing myself with the round-and-round whooshing, maybe I should do something productive, like write a blog post.

Nah.

But then a twinge of guilt nips at me. Jesus, it has been so long I’ve written anything for myself, a hiatus so enduring that I have wondered the past few months if I even have a creative impulse left in this aging, increasingly creaky body. And then I realized: Wow, I let a birthday go past without acknowledging it here at C?WC?. Without lamenting the aging process, or just generally whining about how depressing life can be for a 58-year-old lonely guy trying to figure out, still, what the hell he is doing here. And how he can make life less depressing. Maybe here’s a solution to the latter:

Step one: Spend less time in laundromats.

Step two: Stop spending so much time alone (though easier said than done).

Step three: Start showing more gratitude for what I do have.

And what exactly do I have? A cat that loves me, I think, puking on the bed aside. A nice home, even if the thought of doing yard work for it leaves me exhausted, even before I set out to pull up the weeds and rake the leaves and figure out what I can do to make it look less like a mini-desert wasteland. A job I mostly enjoy, most of the time. People who love me, or at least like me enough to pick up when I call. Travel plans over the next few months that including seeing many of those people, some of whom I haven’t seen in years.

And perhaps most immediately, I have music. I’ve said it before and it feels more true with each passing day: music keeps me sane. And live music, when I can get out for it, is like heaven. I saw one concert last week and have another next week, and before you know it, summer will be here, and that means free concerts for weeks. (I also hope to get to an opera at our world-renowned venue, though the prospect of tailgating alone is not so thrilling. If anyone is up for seeing Dr. Atomic, let me know…)

Of course, if I wanted to conjure up some negatives to dwell on, there are plenty. Do I really have to self-produce again, something I keep swearing I won’t do, to get one of my longer plays staged? Do I really have to keep going to online dating sites to have even a hint of a love life? Does the Crisis really have to keep rolling on, ten years and counting as of September? The answer to that one, of course, is no. I can keep focusing on the positives and striving to add more of them to my life. And with the post-birthday depression finally lifting, that is what I vow to do. At least until the next birthday.

In the meantime, I will take pleasure in knowing that my bed will be topped tonight with a very clean comforter. For now…

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~ by mburgan on April 5, 2018.

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