“I can’t just let it go, that’s how things start to fester. Dad has a bad day at work, yells at mom. Mom feels frustrated and annoyed, yells at the kid. Kid is hurt and confused, kicks the dog. Dog bites a stranger, gets put down. Now all that’s left is an angry family with a dead dog, I don’t want a dead dog.”
All these thoughts running through my head as I fold the laundry, I decide to say something.
“You fucking with me, man?”
He looks up, a startled expression on his face. “Excuse me?”
“I just gotta know, are you fucking with me? I turned my back for like 30 seconds, and when I came back, my laundry basket was in the middle of the floor, and the cart with all my clothes in it was moved. So, I just gotta know; you fucking with me?” I continued to fold my laundry, not really looking at him as I spoke.
“You got a table. We’re the only two people here, what’s it matter which table you using?” He’s stopped stuffing his laundry into his backpack to stare at me.
“That’s the point, we’re the only two people here. I just don’t understand why you’d think it’s okay to move my stuff, there’s literally three tables right here. Why’d you need the one my stuff was on?”
Seriously?” He was getting agitated, I could tell. “You trying to fight over a laundry table?”
“Nah, man. I wouldn’t fight anybody over a laundry table.” I looked up from my pile of t-shirts. “But I would fight someone for fucking with me.”
That got his attention, so I kept going, speculating on the reasons he touched my stuff. “Is it because I’m white? You don’t like bald-headed white guys? Is it the pajamas? You hate Captain America?”
Now he’s nervous, thinking maybe I’m some kind of lunatic. Maybe he’s right, who am I to say? “What’s wrong with you?” he asks.
“In general? Or tonight? Apparently, tonight I left the house with my ‘fuck with me’ face on, when I meant to wear my ‘stay far, far away’ face. I really just want to know why you felt like it was okay for you to move my stuff.”
“I didn’t know it was your stuff. There wasn’t anybody around it, and my dryer was right there.” He points behind him. “This table was closest. Sorry.”
He’s lying. We stood next to each other for twenty minutes waiting for our dryers to stop. I’ve made my point, time to let it go. “It’s all good, man. I just thought that was a particularly weird thing to do. The last thing I wanna do is touch someone else’s laundry. It’s cool.”
He picks up the pace, not bothering to fold now, just jamming his clean clothes into his bag. “Yeah, cool. You have a good night.” Then, he’s gone.
I finish folding and bagging; a few minutes later S. arrives. As we get in the car, she says, “Why are those guys in the truck staring?”
I glance over; neither man is the guy from the laundry table, but they’re parked close enough to have overheard the whole exchange.
“I dunno, some people are just weird.”