Laudromat

We jumped (tumbled, wandered) into the rain, down the stoop onto the sodium-lit street. We had a direction in mind, so ran, huddled, laughed our way, until, whilst taking brief shelter under a small awning, we were intrigued by a group of people outside a laundromat. A closed, darkened laudromat at 11pm (was it 11? I’d lost track of time by then). Looking inside the glass door we saw other people, milling, simply being. Drinking? Were they drinking? We looked at each other, one’s curiousity took the lead and he opened the door. We crowded into the small space to confront a cynical-looking woman guarding a silver door. (Now that I write that I realise how fantastical it sounds, this woman and her silver door). She asked what the pass phrase was, straight faced. I mentally gave up then; they weren’t going to let us in, we needed to find the word on facebook or whatever, and we didn’t even know the name of this place. Luckily, my friends are more audacious (and I’m learning from them), so the pass phrase became “I am from Malta.” The woman, unimpressed, opened the door a sliver – red, wood, dark, moving lights, people moving, a bar – and closed it, conceding. ID were checked (all with the same cynical, unimpressed expression) and through the silver door we went into the music. It was dark enough to blur bodies, the bar was bright enough to give colour, and the music was enough to inspire us to dance. Others had already started swaying in front of the DJ, but we – invigorated by the knowledge that people are good, that friendship is more easily formed than we think, that through our vulnerability we form the closest ties – we danced with all of this knowledge in our bodies. The energy lifted, the music lifted, and for a night we had a secret shared together in front of strangers in an unmarked bar.

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