I bought a laundromat last month from one of the blokes down the pub. He didn’t want it anymore. “Couldn’t make a go of it,” he said.
“All the students have moved further out,” he whined while nursing a schooner. He was sipping slowly, making it last. I said I would buy him another and his laundromat, which cheered him up.
Anyway now I own a Laundromat. I own lots of stuff but that’s not the point. Because last night I saw the weirdest thing. The first thing I did after buying the laundromat was put in security cameras. I spoke to another mate in another pub on a different night and he sold me a full camera kit for a small amount. It was still in the box and I got it installed by another mate who thought it best if he didn’t charge me. He had reasons.
He told me I was doing the right thing. He had installed security cameras in a few laundromats and you had to have them. People were always trying to break the machines, steal the coins, shoot up, sleep etc in laundromats. He said that one night in a laundromat on the Southside a hen’s party had come in high on champagne and Es and fed coins into the washers to see if any of them could orgasm by riding the machines during the spin cycle.
Last night I watched some of the video from one of the cameras. The camera had been triggered well after midnight by movement inside the laundromat. All of a sudden the dryer second from the window had turned on. There was no one there to turn it on. It spun for 20 or thirty seconds then stopped. And here is the weirdest bit. The dryer door opened by itself and then people came out of the dryer. They flowed out of the dryer on to the floor like concrete from a cement mixer. Three women and four men picked themselves up smoothed their hair and clothes and then in a line they moved left and out of view and presumably out of the door.
I watched more video, fast-forwarding at two times normal speed and five minutes went by. Then the same dryer turned on again, you could see the lights illuminate the control panel. Again there is no one near the machine, no one in view. As before the dryer stopped and after a few seconds the door opened. This time six men slid out to the ground and after standing moved out of frame.
I sat and thought awhile and so here I am in my laundromat after midnight, standing in front of the second dryer from the window. I am not waiting to see who comes out. I am going in. I’m not scared or pissed off, I’m curious.