Monday, August 11, 2008

At the Laundromat

While I was at the laundromat today, despite a sunny morning initially, a sudden thunderstorm rolled into town. The thunder was startlingly loud, waking a man who had been sleeping in the chair next to mine. He started talking--I think to me, but I'm not sure--about how the lighting was now going to strike all the murderers and robbers. I'm not sure where he was getting his information, but before I could respond he suddenly asked me for a quarter and asked me to keep an eye on his backpack, then left. Meanwhile, on the TV they were replaying the swimming from last night's Olympics, and everyone's eyes were riveted on the men's relay. When the American team broke a world speed record and won by a fingernail against the French, who had made such boastful statements about how they were going to smash us, everyone in the laundromat started to cheer. People started chattering in Spanish and other languages. I don't even think many of those people in the laundromat were born in America, but there is something so amazing about watching a team that represents your country, whatever country it is, win so spectacularly. And these were Americans.

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