The clouds prevented the suns brightness today but it was still close as John removed the clothes from the bag he was carrying and began to place them into the washer.
“John; I told you last time that you cannot wash coloureds with whites it will ruin them. She took the washing from him and sorted it for him then asked him for the money. At least his mother had given him enough this time.’
She showed him how to put the money into the slots then was about to push them in.
“Did you remember to bring washing powder John?’
“I don’t know did me mother not put it in the bag.
“No she hasn’t.’
Wait here I will go and get you some from the back; there was someone in the other day and she left her washing powder behind you can use some of hers.’
Thanks’ Jenny said John as he sat near the window watching his bike. It wasn’t a new bike; in fact it had been made from the parts from other bikes and only had a back brake. There were no lights on the bike and it had been crudely painted. Jenny wondered why anyone would want to steal a wreck of a bike; but on the Ridges Estate anything was fair game if it wasn’t locked up.
Sandra Hearn came in as Jenny came back with the washing powder; she filled a plastic cup to show John how much he should put in every wash. She then set the washers away.
Thanks’ Jen said John as Sandra plonked a bag on the floor next to John and started a conversation. Sandra lived on Front Street she had an older sister called Ann who John knew.
Sandra was a happy young girl and was always smiling; she lacked education because her mother kept her off school. She was not very tall but was big breasted; she was very popular with the boys because of this. She fancied the tall black kid and went out of her way to flirt with him. Jenny smiled as the two of them chatted away.’
She thought that a laundrette was not only a place to come and do your washing but it was also a place where lonely people came to talk and where relationships were formed. She wondered how many people had met and ended up getting married after coming to the laundrette. She began to iron the first batch of shirts that day that would take her all afternoon to complete. She pulled the first shirt and began to iron the collar as another four people arrived. She thought about Paul and where he would be as she turned the shirt to iron the sleeves.’
“Slop out some officer on A Wing shouted as another went down the line of doors unlocking them Darren Ingles mixed with the general prison population as they each carried a piss pot to the sluice to empty and wash out.
Once that was done they went to the shower room where they took turns getting washed before the breakfast line would begin. Darren kept himself to himself and spoke to no- one.
“He had been in over a week now and he thought that no one knew him.’
He was able to wear a tracksuit and a pair of trainers being on remand whilst the rest wore a blue and white striped shirt grey trousers and grey jumper with black plimsolls. The workers wore a bib and brace over there striped shirts and black boots.
He got back to his room as the call went up to go down to breakfast. He followed the queue as the other prisoner’s went down one set of stairs to D Wing where the Screws stood and watched everybody. They all had a metal tray where thick porridge with no sugar added was plopped on. Un-toasted bread, one pat of butter, one boiled egg, two home made sausages and beans were put on the tray as well.