In the laundromat, on the train, you cannot be productive. You can read, or sleep, people-watch, or slip into a waking dream. But you must sit still, and you must wait. In a state of suspended animation, rocked by the wheels on the tracks or the steady roll and hum of the washing machines and dryers, you are forced to simply stop. Stop working, stop stalling, stop feeling guilty or frantic or fretful. It's warm and, if you are lucky, quiet. It's a gift, this time, and one of the things I miss most about life in a city.