Who takes stuff to the dry cleaner any more?
Me, I do. Occasionally.
And then I promptly forget about it.
So on Wednesday night, realizing that my boss’s boss – the VP – was going to be in town, I was frantically figuring out what I was going to wear. And realized the thing I needed was at the dry cleaner. I’d dropped it off like a week earlier and it had completely slipped my mind.
Grabbed my keys and zipped over with maybe 20 minutes to spare before the place closed – figured I’d run in, grab the stuff, pay, and be back home in under 10 minutes.
And then when I walked in, there was a kid talking to the clerk about dry cleaning this band t-shirt. And he was picking up another one.
Odd, band t-shirts at the dry cleaner. But okay.
Once he left, the clerk – she’s probably in her late 50s, maybe early 60s – started telling me about how he’d washed the t-shirt and the colors had run, so they worked to fix it for him.
Then she says, “I don’t go to many concerts anymore…”
Then she asked me if I know who Jason Isbell is. Now she had my attention.
“I do,” I say.
And this woman starts telling me about how magical she thinks Jason Isbell is. I agree with her. She tells me about how she saw him in Charlotte, and then in Charleston. And she lit up talking about him, how Southeastern is her favorite record.
Then she tells me about going to see Neil Young when she was younger, and about how she loves him, too. And that she has been sober for years, but that back then, she was drinking a lot. But when she went to see Neil, she made sure she was sober because she wanted to remember all of it.
I launch into telling her about Evan Bartels, who I think sounds like Jason Isbell and Noah Gundersen had a musical lovechild. And I told her that, too, and that led us down a path talking about Noah for a second. I pulled out my phone and played her an Evan song.
She says, “Ohhh, he sounds a little like Bruce Springsteen.”
Well, we all know that’s an instant friend for me…
This clerk and I have probably had a dozen interactions over the last year, and it’s never been more than hi, how are you, drop stuff off, it will be ready tomorrow night, thanks.
But not in that moment on Wednesday night. In that moment, we were two music fans, bonding over Jason Isbell, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen.
As I left, she wrote down Evan and Noah’s names to check them out.
I can’t wait until I have something to take back to be dry cleaned to hear what she thinks.