Tales from the laundromat.

So, rather than making 13 trips up and down four flights of stairs to do laundry at my apartment complex, I hauled three loads of laundry four blocks down the road and utilized the laundromat. It's been years since I'd been to a laundromat, so I came armed with a cell phone and a book. Laundromats are just so awkward. So many strangers, everywhere. Uncomfortable conversations, blech. All of it.

I was deeply engrossed in chapter five of Middlesex when the wiry man on the bench next to me started to wig out. His legs were flailing, he was swinging his arms.

"Whoa, hey! Whoa!" That's all that came out of his mouth.

I shifted in my seat, obviously uncomfortable because WHAT IS HIS PROBLEM? I am confused! What do I do?

And then I saw it.

A beetle creature the size of my goddamn fist.

Oh hell no.

I jumped off the bench and bolted across the room behind a table. Suddenly everyone else saw it, too. There were four of us in the laundromat that night: myself, wiry man, thick woman and Bubba. I'll just call him Bubba because that's what he looked like.

All hell broke loose.

"Oh, hell naw! Hell naw!" thick woman repeated. "Hell naw!"

Bubba started looking around the room, assumedly for a weapon because this beetle was not playin.' It was rocketing off the ceiling, off the floor, onto walls. We were not safe.

Meanwhile, wiry man's all, "Whoa, hey! Whoa!" swinging his arms, trying to hit it.

I hid behind thick woman, who's still all, "Hell naw! Hell naw!" who hid behind Bubba, who held out his arms, as if defending his own children. We were causing a ruckus, and I was covering my face. If I can't see the beetle, it can't eat me. Right?

Bubba finally grabbed a newspaper and swatted the beetle from the ceiling to the floor. It was down for the count.

MY HERO!

He walked over to the carcass to observe his doings, when all of a sudden its wings started flapping again.

"OH, HELL NAW! HELL NAW!"

Fuck.

We were doomed.

It started buzzing every which way again, and thick woman and I bolted to the other side of the laundromat, practically holding hands by now. If this was the end, she was my only friend.

Out of nowhere, wiry man catapulted from the doorway and smacked the beetle on the floor with a wad of paper.

And it was done. I swear to God I was thirty seconds from actually clapping in celebration. He scooped the lifeless beetle up, and whisked it outside. I took my seat, opened my book and lowered my blood pressure. Bubba went back to folding laundry, and thick woman opened her cell phone.

It was like nothing ever happened.