Wot a rubbish day for laundry. Kids clothes mainly and Manchester. But iss warm wiv the dryers all running. And no-one ever asks us why I’m here. No-one is crurious about uvver people no more, too busy swiping and clicking on them little screens they carry.
I’m cosy in the corner, on this orange bench seat. M’feet are wet so I’ve tucked ‘em up and dropped the blanket over ‘em. Need new shoes or maybe just some strong black tape to hold the sole on. Just for a few more weeks. ‘Course, I don’t have any strong black tape so …
Oh ‘ello. This lady comin’ in looks promising. About the right size and wiv a big bag.
Trying not to look. Don’t want to be noticed. Can’t effing see what’s going in the machine but the colours look good from here. Full wash by the looks of it. Have to wait a while but that’s okay. it’s cold outside an’ I ain’t got nowhere else to go.
The lady leaves, and a blast of cold air hits me in the face when she goes frough the door. Normally the draught would bovver me, but not today. I’m warm enough, in my layers, under the blanket. And sleepy. Which is good ‘cause time’ll pass more quickly while I wait, for a change of clothes, warm from the dryer.
A girl comes in and grabs ‘er stuff from the machine. She’s got a pierced nose and tattoos on her arm. Skinny. Oh, they weren’t kid’s clothes. They’re ‘ers. She’s ‘olding the jeans up to ‘erself. Either way, not right for me. I’m so drowsy, I think I’ll let m’self drift off.
A slamming sound. I blink and look around. It’s getting dark outside and the place is quiet. The lady’s back and has pulled ‘er stuff outta the dryer. She’s puttin’ it all back in the bag. I’m too late, can’t help meself to a new outfit now. I’ll have t’go. Try again tomorrow. But just now, I’ll ‘ave a few more minutes shut-eye.
“Welcome to the five o’clock news. Our lead story is of an old lady, discovered dead in an inner-city launderette last night. CCTV shows a number of people used the facilities during the evening, but no-one noticed her in the corner. Our reporter, Alan Blane is at the scene speaking with one of those people.”
“Yes, thank you, Davina. I’m here with the lady now. Madam, can you tell us what you saw?”
“I thought it was a big pile of someone’s laundry in the corner. If there was a woman in there, I certainly never saw her. That pile of clothes never moved. Never. I would have known.”
“The deceased lady is thought to have been in her seventies and homeless. There’s some speculation that she might have died from a heart attack and no foul play is suspected. And, back to you, Davina, in the studio …”