Content Warning: Blood and slight gore.
Another first of mine involved me finally looking into one of the washers. I had done so before, but not as deeply as I did on that day.
Many say that looking at your own reflection in the dark distorts what you see. You may see something unnerving, something that is just barely who you are.
It is much worse when there are parts of your face that you can remember because then all you can do is wonder if it's still you, or if you need to run away from yourself before you change completely.
Feel your face now. Look at it in a mirror under a bright light. You know what you look like.
But what will happen when you don't? Then what will you do with yourself? And who will help you if they don't remember? Who will help you if you can't even find your name Search harder. Search faster.
Before everyone else beats you to the identity you failed to find. But don't worry too much.
That happens to the best of us and after a few days we find ourselves again, or an improved version. Sometimes, jumping hurdles prepares us for the next trial. And I believe you can do it.
Now back to the laundromat. Let me tell you as if it was happening now. I wait, sitting patiently and impatiently on one of the benches, thinking about exactly what I just described to you.
Who could ever remember me. Who would help me if they knew. Then, the lights go out and everything shuts down.
I almost thought the lamps above me burst, so I bring my hands up and cover my head. In a quick movement, I fall to the ground. Not because I want to, but because I feel a threat is present.
The lights come back on and an unearthly electricity runs through the building. The lights are a strange orange hue.
It is a tint that encompasses the room in a distinct fashion you cannot notice, but cannot avoid. On this night, no washers or dryers were on.
Only the lights, the sign, and the air conditioning. Nothing else. But when the light returned, I could hear a powerful whirring.
In the brightest corner of the room, the washer nearest to the door had turned on. I get up and stare for a little too long. I know I have looked for too long because it starts to spin faster.
Now the machine itself is shaking, moving too much, but staying in place. I walk over to it, knowing I shouldn't be here anymore. And I sit. Again, on one of the benches right before the washer.
The circle standing between me and the rushing water is a shield. I don't believe anything can hurt me from here. I am as close and as far as I can be at the same moment. I look into the pit.
Colors waving, washing over like waves. More hurriedly. More violently. And I see myself. Unflattering orange as though my skin was inflicting a virus on itself, plaguing my body.
I couldn't tell who was in the washer anymore. Eyes deep, features melting. No light except the one around it. The washer screeches and my image gets sucked into the concoction.
Bodily fluids, dim, but still vibrant. My face, my arms, all of my limbs, go into a blender.
Bones crunch between shears, blood hits the glass, and an eye is crushed under the weight of body parts. I can almost feel it within me. Pieces of my skull scrape my brain.
I am mixed into a blend and become a liquid; all of me is lost, but all of me is present. I fall down again, kneeling, with a look on my face I can no longer see. Plagued like the orange light.
Torn apart. I will never sleep. I get up to leave with haste, but the door seems to lock itself. Something's coming. Something wants to dismember me. The whirring doesn't stop.
For a while, I forget. By morning, an older lady finds me here, passed out. She did not own the laundromat either. You can guess nothing happened, but I will never be able to confirm it.