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In the Laundromat

In the laundromat
Surrounded by people
Performing their weekly ablutions.
Trying to ignore each other.
Working hard to enforce the tradition
Of the laundromat as an impersonal place.
Then I see you.
You stand out as interesting, yet reachable.
I want to know you better.
I think we might become friends.
Perhaps we could become lovers.
I want to reach out to you.
Introduce myself at least.
Strike up a conversation
And lessen the oppressive solitude.
Several times I nearly speak.
But I am paralyzed
By the fear of easy rejection
For trying to get too close
And disturbing the friendly status quo.
Of isolation and mutual avoidance.

26 March 1984

by Bill Cattey