I fell in love with Edinburgh, the city, and Edinburgh, the people. I wrote several vignettes while there. Some of these folks I met and talked with, some folks I just made up stories as they went on with their lives.
This is the first one I wrote. It’s called Launderette Tour, enjoy!
His name was Louis MacKinnon and he was a proud 27 year old entrepreneur. She met him at the Leith Way launderette. She who hadn’t been in a laundromat for over 20 years was now sitting impatiently waiting for the 12£ washer to complete its cycle so she could toss the load into the dryer. She had also learned that in Scotland the word was launderette while in the US the word was laundromat.
The albino launderette attendant was very involved in everything that was going on and she was glad for his assistance at the dryer. He informed her that her 4£, turned on high, would be enough to dry the load in just 30 minutes. He patiently opened the dryer for her when she freaked out saying that her plastic laundry bags were in the dryer.
He stopped the machine with a small key and opened it. She stuck her upper body in the huge dryer quickly searching for both plastic bags. She had a temporary image of not remembering the bags and finding the load of newly washed clothes now covered in white melted plastic gobs.
The attendant smiled sickly at her. He was not good at customer service. She understood this and felt comforted by him. He turned the machine back on and went away to do other chores.
She sat on a simple plank of 8 x 12 sanded and painted a simple flat white. She opened the kindle on her phone and started to read. Her attention was diverted a few minutes later by an extra large black Nike back pack that was propped against the first support beam. It too was painted a flat white and had several posters on it.
The young man rummaging in the back pack had sandy colored hair, wearing cargo shorts, good tennis shoes, and a grey sweatshirt over a black t shirt. She watched him, entranced by his fluid movements. He was performing a ballet, he was practiced and methodical, and didn’t waste any steps.
He pulled out a hand full of posters and stepped quickly past the bench she was on. She had noticed the wall of posters facing the large picture window of the launderette. She now realized it was the side of the huge dryer her clothes were in.
She watched as he deftly removed certain posters, carefully taking off the beads of reusable museum quality sticky putty – three identical sized dots down both lengths of a poster, one more in the middle of the top and bottom. He then reused the putty on the new poster.
She watched him do this with several of them.
“You look like you love what you do.” She commented.
He looked over at her, as if he didn’t realize he had an audience. He was flushed by either her observation or his task.
“Oh, yeah, I do. I really love what I do.” He replied shyly.
“Do you own the business?” She asked, fascinated by his fluid movements.
He nodded absently as he carefully put up another poster.
“I never thought about who puts up these posters. I noticed this wall of posters when I was sitting here and thought that it was well maintained and neat looking.”
He stopped what he was doing for a moment. “Thank you for noticing. This is my business and I love it.”
“Wow. That’s great. What do you love about it?” she asked sincerely.
Without any hesitation he replied, “Well, I don’t make a lot of money. But I love that I’m my own boss. I set my own hours. I get all the exercise I need because I’m biking all over Edinburgh maintaining these and I never have to pay to get into a venue anymore.”
She laughed. “What a perfect job! How long have you had the business?”
He thought for a moment. “Hummm … one year this month. Wow. Time flies when I’m having fun!”