I have always enjoyed doing laundry in the laundromat. For an hour or two, you need think about very little. Wash. Dry. Read. Watch people. A mini vacation from quotidian stress. And, sometimes, it’s better than that.
Gina's graduate student stipend was not really enough to live on. Certainly not well.
This happened while we lived in Quincy, MA. It was either soon after I moved there to be with Gina and so had not yet found a job, or it was during one of the long stints of unemployment in a dying industry that punctuated much of those years. Either way, that day, we were broke; Gina’s graduate student stipend was not really enough to live on. Certainly not well. That morning, in fact, we had been discussing whether to borrow money for rent from a relative so we could also eat until her next stipend check arrived.
But we had to have clean clothes, so to the local laundromat we went. It was fairly early in the morning. The place was empty. We filled a few washers, then I went to the change machine to stock up on quarters.
There was money on top of the change machine. I told Gina. We wondered for a few seconds what to do about it. Then I took it. It was roughly $40.00
Now we are not depraved enough to steal from the poor. On the other hand, no other finders could be much more in need than we were. We formulated a plan. We decided that, if someone came in and looked around frantically, or asked about it, we would return the money. If that didn’t happen, we’d keep it and buy food.
A few people came in to do laundry that morning. They filled machines and made change without a sign or a word of distress. No one seemed to have lost any money.
That week, with a grateful nod to our unknown benefactor, we ate without going into debt.
A hyper-annuated wannabee scientist with a lovely wife and a mountain biking problem.