Out of Order
Six washers, sitting side by side,
all of the same make and model,
three in working order, with the other
three each wearing ‘Out of Order’ signs,
signs laminated with white letters on a blue
background intended to be used multiple time for the
unending problems occurring with these machines,
and their long wait time before getting repaired.
Quickly scanning the other rows of washers and
dryers in the other aisles of the laundromat,
I find each washer and dryer had been assigned with
a number rather than giving each one a proper name,
like Busted, or Neglected, or Crippled, or Defective.
Many of the other machines sported the same decor,
with the ‘Out of Order’ sign sometimes taped to the side,
while other times taped on the top.
I did not bother tallying all the washers and dryers
identified as not being in working order,
but quickly noted an epidemic was taking place,
slowly contaminating the machines, one by one.
Even the third washer that I was using,
after plugging in the appropriate number of quarters,
finished first for whatever reason before
the other two which each had an earlier head start,
shorting me the minutes I paid for.
I would have to trust that it got those clothes as
clean as the other two machines, but maybe it was
telling me it was the beginning of another disorder,
indicating this machine would be next
to sadly display the ever present ‘Out of Order’ sign.
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