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March 8, 2006


I was in Nevada City, California, living out of a suitcase. I strolled into a Laundromat and asked a couple standing next to each other reading the paper, "Can I get Fluff-n-Fold service here?"

The woman went into a little side room, and looking out at me through a hole in the wall, replied, "We're done for today." She was in her fifties, or even older. She had a wrinkled face that looked like it was being held together with mascara and lipstick. Her eyes were sunken but glowed emerald green.

I continued to look into her eyes, and then after a pause she continued, "I don't normally do this but I'm here tomorrow, and I could do it for you then." There was flirtatiousness in the way she said it; she moved onto one hip, tilted her head, and squinted her eyes. I was wondering what I was expected to supply in return.

The man was listening to the conversation. "She's really doing you a favor," he said, "you better treat her real nice."

She turned to him and replied, "You better treat me real nice; how 'bout that?"

I chuckled, knowingly; but I didn't know anything. I was feeling a little bit scared in fact. And then I asked, "When would you be finished?"

"By four," she said.

I considered that and then responded, "I'm leaving town tomorrow, so it's too late. But I really appreciate your willingness to do that for me." I left the Laundromat smiling, and as I passed the man, I said, "You take care of her."

He said, "Merry Christmas!" Tomorrow was Christmas Eve 2005.


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