Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking in- Los Molinos laundry

I spent the early part of this summer on a ranch just outside the sleepy town of Los Molinos, comprised of a few simple buildings and a tiny strip mall set right on Hwy 99. I lived in an old trailer parked in a thicket of ancient prune trees and lanky oaks. On Saturdays I would visit the mall laundry matt that sat next to a bar that stayed open all day. Inside the bright launderette, under the watchful gaze of security cameras and the transparent eyes of dryers, I stuffed my washing (sleeping bag, pillow case, jeans), added a pocketful of quarters, then went outside to sit on a bench and read. One morning a bar patron wobbled out of the bar, lit a cigarette and joined me on my bench. Without introduction, she began a story as if we had been sitting there for hours. In the intimate tone of an old friend she talked of a wayward spouse that moved to Texas and ended up marrying again leaving her nothing but debt. The story went on and on, as if the sound of her own voice alone could restore humor and lessen the murky disappointment. As she talked, I sketched the inside of the matt looking through the window from the bench where we sat.
Acrylic on wood support
23” x 30”

1 comment:

  1. From what you wrote I simple had to look up the location on the map since it sounds like a place I might with to discover and capture photographically the fast disappearing old America from the 1950's and 60's before it is too late.
    Now I just have to make plans. Thank you for sharing your experience.