I needed to do the laundry. Freddy always made me do the laundry. He said, “It would look weird if I was doing it. That’s bitches work.” Then he’d pinch a thumb roll of my fat along bottom side of my ribs. I loved Freddy. He always knew what looked right and what looked wrong. He’d load the jeans and bills into a blue laundry bag and take me to the apartment complex across the street from the Quach Cleaners. We always called the place Crotch Cleaners, though. It would make us laugh until the laughing was tired and our stomachs were sore but it never took much to get us sore. We lived mostly on Taco C, Slim Fast, and glass. That glass. Freddy was a dream in the kitchen. Freddy’s cook had me like nothing else. I’d say, Freddy Baby. I love you. Freddy baby, you let me see through you. I could see through everybody in that lab. Anyway, Freddy never went close to the cleaners, so I’d drag the bag through the complex’s parking lot and into the Crotch’s storefront. Mrs. Crotch would be at the front desk to collect all the clean stuff, mostly dirty suits and cashmere sweaters and David (Crotch. Mrs. Crotch’s son) would be in the back waiting for every thing else. He’d sit back there all day, trading currency online or playing poker at Some times he’d sit and watch rap videos on YouTube. When I walked in with this week’s bag, David was yelling into the computer, something about how those mi dangs could dance. We watched the video girls dance then I danced for David the way the girls on the video danced but with bigger arms and a lot more thrust. We both laughed the way Freddy and I laughed, burned a 20, and then waited. Doin’ laundry is always about waiting. I’m never really sure how the laundry works but it takes about an hour and I don’t mind shooting the shit, I mean, that’s something I’ve always loved to do—that is until the laundry’s done and I get to lug the bag back to Freddy. And man, I love Freddy.

Kirby Johnson is the founding editor of NANO Fiction and the current editor of Black Warrior Review.