Friendship Has No Curfew

I normally do not wait until the absolute last minute to do laundry. This time was different. I procrastinated washing my clothes, each day lying to myself that I would do it after I got home from work. Each morning, I would check to make sure that I had at least one more clean pair of underwear for the following day. No motivation. Then that awkward moment when I checked and I did not have that pair. Sudden motivation. Laundry had to be done tonight.

But why tonight of all nights. Thursday was going to be a packed day; after work, I had to attend a parents’ meeting followed by a basketball game. I knew when I returned home, I would not have the energy or desire to do anything, especially laundry.

The basketball game was even more exhausting than usual because only three of my teammates showed up for the game. We played valiantly, but four against a rotating five (it seemed like they rotated a new fresh squad on the floor at every chance they could; it also helped that they had a full twelve man roster available) for an entire game was unfair, though we almost pulled out a victory.

Driving back to the Bronx with two of my teammates, my close friends, I randomly shouted with despair and disgust, “And now I have to do laundry.” My G-shock watched prominently displayed 10:35pm in the muted Ninja Turtle green light. “I got laundry to do too,” one friend responded. “So do I,” the other said.

At 11:15, we descended upon my building’s laundry room, only to find out that I could not add any money to my laundry card because the ‘add-money-to-your-card’ machine was not working. There was no way that we were going to wash all these clothes with the $0.25 displayed in that odd neon greenish blue light when I checked my balance.

When I saw that the card machine was not working, combined with the earlier lost, my emotions exploded. My face drooped to the ground, lamenting the fact that I had work in the morning and would have no clean underwear. “Man, chill. We can wash our clothes in my building’s laundry room,” my friend, who lives across the street, said in an attempt cheer me up and shut me up before I unleashed my laundry list of problems.

Long story short, we washed clothes until 1am, at which time the power in the laundry room went out, leaving my clothes with roughly 10 minutes of lost drying time. Damp clothes, added to the ‘losing list.’ Then we decided that we should get something to eat, but what would be open. Ol’ faithful…McDonalds. Though I am not a fast food fan, I knew that a McDonalds mango smoothie would brighten my night morning.

There was a problem. I was not going to drive my car. Parking in my neighborhood is like gold mining, difficult and tedious work. When one finds a spot, near the front of the building like I found that night, one does not move.

Once again, my face tethers on negative a million. Can I win at least once tonight, I yell in my head.

My friend saw my soured facial expression and quickly suggested, “We can ride our bikes.” Bless his soul for his quick thinking. Maintaining my role as Mr. Cynical Pessimist, I retorted, while pointing at my friend from Connecticut who was crashing at my spot for the night, “He doesn’t even have a bike.” That finger purposely blamed him for obstructing my ability to get some food, while the other three pointed at me for procrastinating. “Man, chill. He can use my daughter’s bike,” my friend responded. His answer made me laugh and knocked me out of the unfamiliar, uncomfortable character I was playing.

We rode our bikes to the local McDonalds at 1:30am and went through the drive thru. My friend flirted with the worker. He reassured her that we actually have cars but did not want to lose our parking spots. She giggled and said, “Sure,” without the slightest ounce of belief. We rode in a unseasonably warm fall night morning, laughing through the streets, wondering why we never did something like this during the summer, when it would have made more sense.

When I finally hit my bed at 3:07am, I thought fondly of my random night, the result of my procrastinating ways and lack of clean underwear.

Thankfully, friendship has no curfew.

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