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 The Laundromat

 Written by Carmalita F. (Inspired by a true story) 


With every step on this hot summer 

day, her stomach became tighter

and tighter. Her bottom muscles

felt weaker and weaker. Whatever 

she was holding in was on its way


Problems at the LaundroMat

As she sat on the bus, her insides bubbled and grumbled with every pot hole and ditch the bus decided to ride.  “Why did I have that cup of coffee," she complained to herself.  By this time her face twisted and turned, showing the painful discomfort that was in her stomach. “I will never drink another coffee every again!” She said aloud, frustrated with her decision. 

Regardless, she was so very happy this morning.  The spontaneous desire for coffee this morning was because she didn’t sleep a wink last night.  Her excitement about the job interview kept her up ruminating all night. Finally, she was on her way make an impression and seal the deal.

She rang the bell on the crowded bus and stood up indicating to the driver she was ready to get off.  This was not at her designated stop, but at this point, any stop would do.  She needed a restroom.  A laundromat was in sight.  “Thank you Lord!" she screamed aloud. 


With every step on this hot summer day, her stomach became tighter and tighter. Her muscles felt weaker and weaker.  Whatever she was holding in, was on its way out.  As she approached the sliding doors of the Laundromat, thinking she’d just made it... it was over.  Although she couldn’t see behind, she knew her nurse’s uniform was ruined.  As the warm runnings made their way down, she hurried into the restroom. Even though the small laundromat was relatively empty, she was still and nonetheless, utterly humiliated.

As some customers entered, she could hear their laughs and snarls to what they stated was the most disgusting smell in the world. Alone in the restroom, she could only do one thing, cry.  While washing her underwear and pants in the sink, she thought how was she going to get out of this.  She could dry them but she had nothing else to wear.   And based on the laughs and sneers outside the door, no one including the laundromat attendant was interested in helping her.  She shook her head in disbelief that she was even in this situation.  Rude knocks followed at the door.


“Other people need to use the restroom,” the Laundromat attendant snapped rudely.  


“Lord help me, please help me," she said as she sobbed again and again.  She was crying so hard, that is was difficult for her to ask for help. It was a nightmare that she wished she would wake up from..

Moments later, another knock tattered on the door. 


“I’ll clean up the mess in a minute,” she forced herself to say, her words muffled by her shaking and sobbing voice.  “Ma’am, I have something for you,” the voice politely said on the other side of the door.  “I have a wash cloth and towel here,” the woman’s voice spoke again.  “Here it is,” as she softly tapped the door again. "Take it."  Her bangs which had become wet from her sweat and tears, were flat on her forehead and partly blocking her eyes.  She barely saw the small frame woman  woman on the other side of the partly cracked bathroom door. She felt for the towel and grabbed it. 


“I was in here washing clothes and I have $5 left, I can try and find you some more pants or something,” the other woman continued to speak.  “I don’t know if I can find white though, but the dollar store sells nurse clothes.”  Knowing all she had was $2 in her purse and that was for the bus ride back home, how could she refuse?   “Yes ma’am.  Please… I need some nurse's uniform pants. Thank you.  Thank you,” she said again and again, crying from a feeling of relief this time.  “I’ll get it now.  Just try and get cleaned up best you can,” the woman said before walking away from the restroom door. "And I told them to leave you alone. Let' me know if they bother you when I get back," the told told the nurse through the door.



Thanks to her angel, Debra was in her new nurse’s uniform. She was back on the bus and headed to her job interview.  She would be a little late, but she was profoundly determined to get this job.  Anyone else would have called the interview off and went home traumatized----but not Debra.


Somehow Debra felt in her heart, that if she didn’t get this job as a nurse’s aide, it was in no way the end.  Her battle with life's circumstances including this one, had taught her to put things in perspective.  The end could have been her staying in the restroom, too mortified to come out.   The end could have been never making it to the job interview she so desperately studied for.  Instead, she was able to walk out with some of her dignity in tact, right beside the woman sent by God himself. 






References: Book of Daniel from Holy Bible

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