Theft and Hope

I went to the bank for a roll of quarters. As I handed him the ten-dollar bill, the teller asked if I was going to wash my car or do laundry. There was a teller I liked standing behind him, and I didn’t want her to know how poor I was. It was clearly none of anyone’s business, but I sheepishly said, “Laundry.”

Appomattox only has one laundromat, on Confederate Boulevard—the main drag. It was nice enough. It was kept up reasonably well. The sign on the door that said “Air Conditioned” was a lie.

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As my washer was finishing, a lady was using a nearby dryer, taking her clothes out. As she was about to leave, she pointed out that the dryer was malfunctioning—it was running for free. I said, “Thanks,” not intending to use it—that would be stealing. Of course, I did end up using it. I used it every time I returned.

It was necessary to make a couple of trips to the drink machine. As I was getting my soda, I noticed a five-dollar bill on the floor. I left it there, figuring either someone would come back for it, or it would make some kid’s day. It was the latter. I was sitting on the bench before the glass window when a boy came up to me and asked, “Sir, have you dropped five dollars?” I replied, “Nope,” and the boy was off.

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