I gave a little cry in the middle of the night, realizing I had left my clean clothes in machine and that I had to be at my job in another three hours.
Unwillingly, I clawed off the sheets clinging to my body and pulled myself out of my quicksand bed.
I emerged onto the concrete staircase into darkness. It was four o' clock this morning, a heavy and syrupy night. The utter blackness rolled out, a blanket smothering every available sound.
The way to the old run-down laundromat was unrecognizable at that hour. Moths circled the lamps like schools of fish feeding. The sidewalk wound between hedges, and small bulbs aimed upward toward the sky lit the sides of the path but washed out the stars.
I couldn't help but feel like something was waiting for me at my destination, and an overwhelming sense of déjà vu overcame me. The building were closed. I reached out to open the laundromat doors and found them unlocked. They made a scratching noise as they scraped the ground when I opened them.
The only light present inside was the dull glow of the vending machine in the corner, one of broken lights flashing green. There was only the sound of the air being pushed around by the slowly spinning fans overhead.
I heard a little scrape.
I held my breath.
Someone had been waiting for me, and I knew it— why did I come here? What was I doing here?
I knew that someone was sleeping soundly across from me, and that I had been here before. I stood rooted to the ground, unable to cross the yawning gulf opening between me, my clothes in the dryer at the other end of the room, and the person in the corner.
When I finally made my decision ... I could not remember having made it, save for the sudden thrill of reaching a conclusion. I was back in bed, the alarm going off, tearing the sheets away to reach it and shut off the most annoying sound in the world. Perhaps it never happened.
Perhaps it did.
My slightly-wrinkled dry clothing lay in a hamper, neatly folded and arranged into piles. My workshirt and pants had been ironed and laid out across the foot of the bed.
The top of my head tingled like a low-volt battery pressed to the tongue, a strange tickling that I couldn't reach.
The sensation subsided after several minutes.
I didn't feel a sense of dread, but a dizzy elation.