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Gonzo Lives

Monday, July 05, 2004

Hell on Earth

When I emerged into New York State Saturday having spent the previous two hours cutting through Connecticut, I had come to the conclusion that Hell might be an eternity spent driving those roads, surrounded by assholes either too stupid to know better or who snapped off their turn signal levers in their own private fits of rage.

I was mistaken, though. Hell is actually an afternoon spent in Laundromat Madness, an afternoon such as day. Who would've thought that a rainy afternoon on a National Holiday would've brought all these fiends out in droves. It's fairly cool and wet outside today, but the heat of the dryers and wash machines only holds a magnifying glass to the humidity, and boils my blood to a level of hostility unmitigated by even a pretty face amongst the hordes. I was utterly surrounded by weirdoes, none so strange as the burnt-out remnant of the '70s working there, complete with Pink Floyd t-shirt, who's an infuriating busybody, insistent on constantly pacing and staring into people's dryers and placing himself in the way of anyone in a hurry. Fortunately on a busy day he's occupied with chatting with some of the regulars instead of trying to strike up conversation with me, but I'm still within earshot of tales of taking care of all the cats at his sister's house, where he resides. That Prick was there too, the jackass who comes in with loads and loads of shit, taking up too many machines and standing in front of anything in the vicinity of his. His load of rugs fouled up a washer and I watched him, unfazed, rush out the door when he was done to where his big Buick was sitting, pulled over in the bus lane. He was soon enough replaced by another jackass, a '60s leftover, complete with balding ponytail, who insisted on whistling incessantly, as any fiend would, within 5 feet from me, and then seating himself in the open seat between mine and the pretty face while I was off removing shirts from my dryer. It's far too hot in there to even consider invading my comfort zone, bub.

I thought for a moment of confiding in the pretty face that the heat and weird vibes in the joint were stoking my hostility and that I was longing to unleash a few quick rabbit-punches to the necks of the rude, annoying, and unsuspecting. I decided against it, though, realizing that confiding such things in her would only serve to wake her up to the undercurrents that were flowing about the place and probably send her fleeing out the front door in terror, issuing forth bloodcurdling screams.

Finally I left, sweaty and hostile, and got my sheets, towels, and week's worth of clothes home and inside. I peeked out the window to see a big ServiceMaster truck parked in the quiet, peaceful lot out back that's typically frequented by nice young families pushing strollers and older women tending flowers. This afternoon there were two patrol cars parked in the lot, engines running and wipers still going as if they had dashed inside one of the buildings. I missed their departure and what they might've hauled away. Is ServiceMaster wiping up the remnants of some ugly mess? Did this maddening weather drive some schmuck to an inconceivable act of violence? Perhaps a beheading? They're becoming more and more commonplace these days, blossoms of violence provoked by the seeds of Bush's warmongering.

Whoa. I didn't imply that there was any sort of connection between Bush's actions and the beheadings that have been taking place. But let's face it, such unholy, murderous acts are retaliation against a military invasion more unpopular in that region than here in his own country, where the numbers that supported the effort are indeed dwindling.

The phone rings incessantly. The ringtone is "Satisfaction," by the Stones. I'm beginning to cringe whenever I hear the intro, and the phone has been silenced since last night. What is it about me that leaves women either falling madly in love with me, helplessly twisted and conflicted, or completely and utterly indifferent to me.

When you try to live life full-on, I guess there are no casual affairs.


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