Lockdown: Laundry quandary

It’s Friday evening as I write about Wednesday. This weekend will be another chance to get caught up, as it’s another weekend where I don’t have to worry about work. Whew.

So. Tuesday night I went to bed at around nine. Set the alarm for 2:40. Woke up around midnight, got back to sleep for a little while, and woke up again at about 1:30. Tried to fall back asleep but couldn’t. Got up at two and whatever. Headed for the laundry.

I have a different plan for refilling my drinking water this week, so there was no need to stop at the McD’s on School Street. I opted instead for the McD’s near my house, which (believe it or not) is on a safer block than the School Street one. However: did you know the School Street McD’s is the busiest location in Hawaii outside Waikiki? It has been for decades.

For this reason, even in the wee hours, the drive-through is served by two people. The cashier at the first window; the dispenser at the second. My McD’s goes down to just the second window for payment and receipt, and the inside crew is always paltry. In fact, this location often has to close late at night if someone calls in sick.

I forgot about that. It took really long to place my order and get my food. It’s a lesson for next time.

Except there probably won’t be a next time. I got my order, drove to Manoa, grabbed all my stuff (laundry — a double load — detergent, dryer sheets, my book, and my food), and I could see it before I was halfway to the front door in Manoa Marketplace: it was closed. New hours. Six in the morning to nine in the evening, with a last wash at seven.

Seven. Ugh.

I’ve already waxed poetic in this space about what the all-night laundry has meant to me in this lockdown. Now it is no longer available, because no way am I going during those hours. Not even at six on a weekday, because lots of people do their wash early in the morning on a weekday, and all those late-nighters like me were most likely to go at opening now, making it even more crowded than it would be.

I don’t know this for sure, so one morning I may just check it out. But there are at least three all-night laundries in my neighborhood within a seven-minute drive, so I may as well try one of those.

I used to be a regular at a couple of them. The one on school street was right across the street from my first apartment when I started teaching. It’s open all night but that’s not the best place to be at three in the morning. On the other hand, it’s close enough that I could come home while clothes were in the dryer for a little nap. Also, it’s so close the whole thing would take just a fraction of the time I spend now.

There’s one on Nuuanu Ave, and I’ve been there late at night a few times. Honestly, though, that one’s probably less safe than the School Street one, and even late at night you can count on people being there.

Neither is very clean.

There’s a third tucked into the back corner of the Kapalama strip mall on Dillingham, where Zippy’s is. That one’s also slightly sketchy, but at least at that hour there usually aren’t a lot of people doing wash, and there’s plenty of police presence most of the time. I know because early in the lockdown, I walked past it late-late at night all the time. It looks fairly clean from the outside, but I haven’t been inside, so I may have to investigate.

Anyway. What a pain.

As I dealt with the sudden change in my pandemic life, I ate my Big Mac combo on the trunk of my car. By the time I was ready to drive home, my belly was full and my soul slightly more at peace. Compared to what a lot of others have to deal with, this was nothing, and I’m done complaining.

I came home, leaving my unlaundered clothes in the car (after removing my still unlaundered bed sheets to put back on my bed), goofed off online for a little, and went back to bed.

Got up and got to work about an hour earlier than usual. I had a 10:30 one-on-one with my boss, then called my mom (she’s doing fine, apparently). For lunch I think I finished off my acorn squash potato soup. The memory’s hazy, and I know I finished the soup sometime around then.

After work, I baked a cake! I pretty much never bake, but a friend of mine (a prominent, long-time print, radio, and TV journalist) shared in December photos of this thing called an Are You Kidding Me Cake. It’s any box of cake mix, any can of pie filling, and three eggs. That’s it. I had to try it, and Wednesday was the day.

I used white cake mix and apple pie filling. Not very adventurous, I know, but remember I don’t love dessert so I wanted to stick to something I knew I’d enjoy.

It came out great. I cut it into bite-sized pieces, left it uniced, and have been enjoying it a little at a time since.

I was so tired from the morning’s misadventures I crashed after I had some cake, then got up and did some chores and went to be shortly after midnight, I think.

Kind of a pisser of a day, but there was cake. And there were McDonald’s fries and a Big Mac. I’ll take it, I guess.

There weren’t many texts Wednesday. The writing partner is working on something and needed my feedback, so I spent part of the evening working on that after a few texts. Crush Girl and I texted a little about the books she’s reading, and I sent her a photo of my cake. She’s into baking and she knows I’m not, so I thought she’d find it interesting. Can’t really tell if she did.

Okay that’s it. Go read something actually interesting. But leave a comment first, if you need someone to connect with. You don’t mind if I pour out my soul about losing my all-night laundry, do you? Good!

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