The dryer spun, and I stared, both I would imagine absentmindedly. I was doing my laundry on this odd rainy day. The forecast said we were due for a typhoon, so I grabbed what clothes I needed washed and hit the laundromat. Now I know that shouldn’t be a priority when faced with calamity- food and fresh water should take precedence. This is Taipei, though, so I know everything will be fine, my dirty ass, not a similar story.
I broke my staring contest with the swirling clothes and headed to the convenience store next door for a beer. I tried to say under the awnings the whole way, staying dry despite the heavy downpour. The windows were steamed at the 7/11, hiding the contents of the store in a fuzzy translucence.
I was hit with a blast of cool dry air when the automatic doors opened. A ding sounded when I crossed the threshold. I was alone in the store, save a bored worker watching the weather report on the TV above the checkout counter. It showed a massive swirling mass of clouds bearing down on the island, the first bands of which seemed to be hitting us. The worker seemed nonplussed, as if typhoons were something so routine to her life they weren’t worth noticing. That or she was just pleased to be at work, getting paid, but wholly without customers. Save me of course, though if she even noticed my presence, she didn’t acknowledge it.
I walked over the drink coolers. Row upon row of all manner of beverages were cooling in the glass fronted industrial fridges. I grabbed a Taiwan beer and headed to the checkout. The Tallboy was cold in my hand, too cold really, so I was happy to put it down on the counter. The woman worker seemed almost startled to see me there, perhaps she’d been lost in the weather report, or forgot that I was there entirely. She scanned my beer and the price appeared on the screen. I motioned with my subway card and she pushed some button. The flat card reader lit up with blue LED lights and I put my card on it. It flashed red for a brief moment, then green. She gave me a quick ‘thanks,’ I returned it, cracked the beer and headed for the door.
The doors opened again, and I felt as though I was borne upon waves of air conditioned air out into the tempest. The wind was picking up, but I was still able to seek shelter under the awning. I could make it home under the same awning to my apartment around the corner, keeping the laundry dry. Hopefully that is. I peered in the laundromat and saw my dryer still had 15 minutes to go. Quickly overwhelmed with the smell of dryer sheets and detergent, I picked a spot on the wall between the 7/11 and the laundromat and stood watching the storm soak the world only a foot inform of me. The cool wall felt good on my sweaty back, and the cold beer felt even better on my stomach. I smiled at the thought of having the day off tomorrow. No where to go, just inside, relaxing, might even get a second day out of the deal. Then it will be the weekend. I smiled and took a pull of the beer at the thought.
Few things better than an unexpected long weekend. Now typhoons are awful and destructive, but in every cloud- even the most gigantic and terrifying clouds, there is a silver lining. Might even get a rainbow out of this big mother fucker too. I took another pull and smiled.