It's probably only fate that having grown up less than a block from Rod Serling's house in Binghamton and having held Mr. Serling's internship at the local museum and observatory as a high school student that I should fall victim to his twisted creation.
I had always watched The Twilight Zone as a kid. I guess I was mistaken in I thought that it was necessary to have some sort of character flaw in order to enter that dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; I thought it was necessary to have an overactive imagination to see the signpost. I had neither, or so I should think. But maybe Mr. Serling made a special appointment for me. Indeed, destiny probably put me squarely on his agenda for a twist of fate.
I hadn't done my laundry in over two weeks. I'm a college student. Moreover, I'm a student at one of the military academies. Between formations and doing my laundry, the clothes have to go. Is not being domestic a form of hubris? Nonetheless, it was time to head downstairs to the laundromat. We have about 20 combination washers/dryers. Most were used- about three were open. I had a total of six loads, mainly because uniforms have special care instructions. So only half of my clothes went in the machines. I threw the dollar in change into each of the machines to start each up. The timers read 36 minutes to completion of the wash cycle. Hence, I went back upstairs and called my parents.
Time passed- about an hour and a half. Sorry: when mom is on the other end of the line, it's hard to say goodbye. So I didn't. But I had to do it. I ran back downstairs, fully expecting to find wet clothes thrown over one of the machines per standard operating procedure when machines are scarce and people get tired of waiting. But my clothes were nowhere to be found. My first thought was that they had been jacked, you know, stolen. But they weren't. I went around the corner to the laundry folding area, and what did I find? All of my clothes were clean, dry and folded.
Every last sock, shirt and trouser.
Not only that, but whoever had done it had used the perfume-free detergent that I like, and had used light fabric softener so that my clothes would be static and wrinkle free. This was not a half-way job.
I looked around the laundromat, but no one was there. And none of the other machines were running. If someone had been down there, they probably would've started up some of the other machines, but they hadn't. There was no sign of anyone. Not another bag had been touched, not a load moved. No empty bottles and boxes of soap. Everything was exactly as I had seen it when I left 90 minutes prior... except my laundry had been inexplicably finished.
I guess it's possible that there was a good samaritan out there. But the facts don't add up to that. I guess this is where that ominous narrator tones up explaining that I have made a domestic detour into that region that has no care label, a place where there is no colored cycle... it was... The Twilight Zone. I guess what I am trying to say is thanks for doing my laundry last night Mr. Serling.