I seem to have made an enemy.
Earlier tonight I carried the laundry out to do a load. As I walked out, a neighbor girl, someone from the building, was arriving home from a jog or a vigorous walk or some such thing.
"Are you starting a wash?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"Just one load?"
She seemed pleased. I don't remember if she said she would go right after me, but she might as well have.
I don't know how long a wash cycle actually takes. There's no visible timer on the machine and it's not like I've ever sat and timed it. I usually set a timer for an hour and then go back and get it.
Sometimes I don't hear the timer, or forget to set it. Tonight I was on the ball. I rushed out right on the hour and--
My laundry had already been transferred to the dryer, and her load was chugging along in the washer.
Prompt. She was clearly eager to do laundry.
But as I started the dryer running, I realized that I'd forgotten to mention something important: You see, when I do a load of laundry, it tends to be a massive load of laundry. The machine is filled to capacity. Some might accuse me of "overloading" it. I would disagree. I am merely using it efficiently. Thing is, when you do this, one dryer cycle tends to not be enough.
I set my timer for 45 minutes, knowing I would have to beat her to the machines for the next round, to restart the dryer before she could evacuate the machine for me. I cut off the end of my own dryer cycle, sacrificing ten minutes or so of paid-for drying time in order to start the next cycle early.
As I passed under the girl's apartment window, I thought I heard her complaining about something to do with the wash; probably that I hadn't taken the clothes out of the washer soon enough. I winced. She would not be happy about what was waiting for her.
As I came out to collect my clothes after the second dryer cycle, I found her coming down the stairs to transfer hers.
"Did you do a double dryer?" she said.
"Um, yeah. I have a big load and it tends to need two or it doesn't get dry," I said. "I should have mentioned that. I'm sorry."
A silence passed, during which someone in her position might normally say "That's okay," even if she didn't mean it, unless she were in fact very, very annoyed and unforgiving.
"There you go," I said, cleaning off and replacing the lint trap.
"Thank you," she pointedly did not say.
"Good night," she eventually said, coldly.
"Good night," I replied.
It would seem she is mad about the laundry. I feel bad, but I don't think I did anything wrong, except get to the machine first and follow my usual washing procedure. Besides, it was her apartment that was dumping dirty washing-water off their balcony onto my parking space and car last week.
So screw them, is what I'm trying to say.