• Jimmy Broccoli

Another Saturday Night at the Wash and Fold

So, I’m at the laundromat washing everything on hot Cause I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing It’s Saturday night – and I’m here with my hooker friends Our wino-wine bottles hidden in brown paper bags – and the attendant pretending not to notice, while he sips on his diet Coke and looks out the window


Gina pops her chewing gum – it’s loud Georgette tells her – like she always tells her “why yous always gotta be poppin yo gum?” “Blow me”, Gina responds and I wonder if she realizes she just said something mildly clever


“Bob – you be lookin’ somethin’ pretty tonight”, Carlos observes, staring at him with a wince and his trademark flare for the dramatic Bob, sitting on a washing machine, straightens his posture – clad in some too-tight neon or day-glow get-up, “Yous jus’ jealous of my femininity”, Bob glows “Yeah, that’s it. A face painted like an angel and a tubular surprise between yo legs”, Carlos remarks, feeding quarters into the machine “I is here fo every body – I don’t discriminates and I don’t be judgin’ nobody”, Bob explains “You be you, Bob”, I tell him while spilling the liquid Tide – too tipsy to see the lines on the measuring cup


“Damn straight, pretty boy” – I hate when Bob calls me pretty boy


Bob snaps his fingers twice, then wiggles his head from side to side. “Pretty boy, you almos’ done washin’ them pretty boy undies”? “You know I ain’t washing no undies, cause I don’t wear ‘em”, I remind him “I knows, Jesus be my witness. And you walks up in here in dem sweatpants – bouncin’ all around you best go gets yoself some drawers, pretty boy. Do all the fine folks up in here a favor” - Ignoring Bob, I load my shirts into a front-facing dryer and deposit 8 quarters


The attendant flickers the bright-as-fuck fluorescent lights, to let us know it’s the final wash for the evening


“I ain’t got no dryin’ sheets”, pipes in Georgette – “I’s gots some Snuggle”, says Bob “What cans I eva do t’ repay you?”, asks Georgette, mockingly, with her crooked, yet beautiful, smile “Yous can slap my ass, girlfriend” – Bob says, musically Bob bends over a top-loading machine and Georgette slaps his ass “Yeah, girl, slap dat ass – slap it hard –" And Georgette slaps his ass and then she slaps it again “slap that mother fucking ass, bitch”


…As I watch the attendant’s face turn an abnormal and dark shade of red – he looks at the clock on the opposite wall, like it’s salvation ____


Bob and Gina are street hustlers, so they’ll be somewhere near Broad and 10th tonight – just a couple of blocks away Georgette is an on-call escort – fancy dresses or a sleazy get-up – you pick Carlos is a kept boy – his evenings include wrinkly and old-age skin and a hot tub in an uptown penthouse suite I’m a bar boy – which means I choose my clients I’m classy like that


After checking my hair in the mirror in the men’s room at the laundromat And changing into a football jersey and into skinny jeans a size too small I say goodnight to my friends, put my imperfectly washed and imperfectly folded clothes into the backseat of my economy car And walk the 3 blocks to the pub


It’s where I’ll introduce myself to married and lonely men On vacation or in town on business They will buy me drinks, I’ll laugh at their jokes And they will hand me cash – I don’t take cards


And I’ll suck their cocks


This is my life


“Don’t judge me” I say aloud to an unknown audience - as I slide 3 wadded big bills into my pants’ pocket ____


While walking from the pub and back to my car, I see Bob get into the backseat of a brown station wagon He looks scared

And I know there is nothing I can fucking do about it


Photo: Jimmy Broccoli with Cheerio, the Anxiety Bunny Rabbit.


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