radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)
I have this thing going with the guy in the basement suite. It's entirely chaste, but I think -- I hope -- it's a mutually satisfying exchange.

I live in the magnificent shack in the back yard, but I do my laundry in the entryway to the basement suite in the main house. The suite is a strange knocked-together labyrinth with two bathrooms,s created by fusing a pair of existing suites. Tenancy changes over every six to twelve months. Right now there's a young guy -- an astronomer, I think? Physicist? He told me, but I forget. He has science books lined up on his windowsills (at ankle height from outside). I've run into him once or twice and he seems affable, funny.

Once or twice his laundry's been in the dryer when I needed to use it, as will happen. Instead of cramming all of his laundry higgledy-piggledy onto the small stand next to the dryer, which act seems a little hostile, I use a trick I learned from a tenant in my last building: I fold his clothes.

I don't fold his underwear. My feeling is that you don't want to think about your middle-aged neighbor folding your underwear (unless you do, but I feel confident he doesn't). Instead, I pile it unobtrusively on the towels and put everything else on top of it like, "Oh, was there underwear here? I didn't even notice it." I think these things through. Still, it must be disconcerting to arrive home (or wake up) and find your laundry ghost-folded.

The day after I first folded his laundry, I found taped to the dryer a Ziploc bag with "THANKS" written on it in Sharpie and a five-dollar bill inside.

It seems to me that five dollars is exactly the right amount to create symmetrical confusion between us. Well calculated, Science Guy.

I left the money in place for several days, but he didn't take it back. Finally I took it, because, well, five dollars. I went to the store, bought some stain remover, and put it in the laundry room with a sticky note that said "FOR COMMUNAL USE".

Yesterday I again had occasion to remove his laundry and fold it. I am learning some good tricks, like the way you can let the shirt drop against your knee, quickly fold the sleeves in, and then double it over, all in one movement. Very satisfying.

Later that same day: another baggie, another five dollars. This time I bought some Febreeze.

I hope he's enjoying this as much as I am.

{rf}

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