storytelling: quarters at the laundromat

8 quartersI went to the laundromat to do my laundry today.  I was on “step 2,” which is taking the clothes out of the washer and transferring them to the dryer when a transient man in a wheelchair rolled in.  This large, dark man ferociously grunted and had a cough that could shake the leaves off of trees.  If he were capable of standing, he’d tower well over 6 feet.  He didn’t use his hands to move the wheels of the bariatric-sized chair, he used only his right foot.  As he inched his way to the back of the laundromat, men stared, keeping an eye on him; women quickly gathered their clothes and blankets, relocating their folding areas to the other section of the laundromat, frightened of him.  He passed me and stopped at the older $1.25 washers.  With many ogre-like guttural noises, he began to take off all the clothes he was wearing until he only wore his underwear and the dirt covered cast on his left leg was visibly unmaintained.  He then started placing all his money on a table – a crumpled dollar bill and some change.

I approached with my hand out to him ready to give, “Do you need some quarters?”

His ash-laden face was covered with surprise as he placed his hand out in front of him to receive, afraid to extend it any further than his personal bubble.  I placed 8 quarters in his hand and he said with an unchanged face, “You are a very kind lady, will you marry me?”  I smiled at him from my eyes and went back to attending my laundry.  He then said with a smile of a kind giant, “Thank you.”

I replied, “You’re welcome.”  I finished folding my laundry, packed up and went home.

This man asked me to marry him all because of a kind gesture of 8 quarters.  I then realized just how big of a fish My Love really is and wondered how many quarters it would take for him to ask me to marry him.