Thoughts at a laundromat
I hate the laundromat. It always succeeds in reminding me of my own insecurities and inadequacies. I am not generally inadequate, but I feel that way most of the time. I feel, almost always, as though I’m not good enough.
This is incredibly hard to reconcile with my knowledge and real belief that I am somebody, and more than that – somebody good and worthwhile. How do you work that out in your mind? For me, I guess, it’s that I think I’m quite alright, but I’m somehow truly mystified to find anyone else who agrees with me. But, I’m off my subject. This has nothing really to do with laundromats.
It’s just that I feel so utterly conspicuous here. A laundromat is just one of those places where people have little choice but to look at other people. And be looked at in our turn. Here I feel fatter than I am, uglier than I am, stupider than I am.
Why am I so deeply concerned with other people? People I’ll never see again. People who will never think about me again?
I hate the laundromat.
The older I get, the less conspicuous I feel. And the less I care what people may or may not be thinking about me at any given time. Mostly I’ve just realized that strangers think about me, or even notice me, far less than I imagine. But I wonder, was that insecurity that made me (and sometimes still makes me) feel observed and scrutinized? Or was it just another form of ego and self-absorption?