Love Minus Zero

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The Laundromat knows no bounds

If all humankind are created equal then in the laundromat they are truly this. I have had the pleasure for one of the first times in my life(for an extended period that is) of using a laundromat in a small tourist driven town in Northern California.

It’s a drag having to do washing. And it’s an even bigger drag having to do it in a laundromat with a group of transient people when you are so accustomed to having these basic domestic facilities at home. It sounds like a fickle first world problem though after using the laundromat over an extended period of time I was amazed by the sense of community. Irrelevant of your race, financial status or ego. Everyone is there to wash their dirty laundry. Equally.

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This raises old issues of what community is and in a contemporary society how to instil this sense of commonality. With Melbourne; along with many other cities around the world, dramatically increasing construction on rapid inner city mega developments how do we come together as a community? Is the answer a laundry room? Imagine the sense of networking and dialogue that could revolve around such facilities in new, multi-story housing developments. Even more so the hours of use could be limited so that every tenant in the apartment block would need to congregate with others.

Multiple times during my laundromat soirée I was offered a particular clothes dryer as the persons clothes were dry enough and they had left credit in the machine for the next person—and to first consider and then communicate this, in broken english (as a majority of the patronage were Spanish speaking)nonetheless reimagined my faith in community.

I feel that society needs to regroup around not only communal activities but activities that no one really enjoys. Things we do just to get along.

Keir VaughanComment