Wash, Dry, Fold Script
The time is July, and the city is New Orleans. The setting is Magazine Street, home to a dizzying assortment of funky stores, restaurants, businesses, art galleries and antique shops. It is a neighborhood where anything can, and often does, happen.
For 40+ years, sister Trudy and Enola have been arguing or talking at cross purposes, each a master at dredging up old resentments. Enola has always been the rock, the responsible sibling, ever since at age 14 she spent several months away at "summer camp" and returned a religious fanatic fixated on sin rather than redemption. Years later, Trudy also returns home, have served time for killing her no-account husband. Now the sisters are stuck with each other, trying to keep their deteriorating family laundromat going.
Their second challenge is Uncle Slackjaw, a Vietnam POW who is the embodiment of King Lear's Fool -- a wounded soul tormented by knowledge almost too vivid and raw to bear. Slack's mind slides unpredictably between the past and the present. Disconcertingly, whatever he speaks is the truth, even if it seems to defy all that is rational.
The arrival of Arlene, a 28-year-old overqualified tattoo artist, into their working-class neighborhood brings the possibility of change. When Arlene begins to spend more of her free time at the laundromat, Uncle Slack notices she's "got them watchful eyes," just like Trudy. And he's right. A strong curiosity has brought her from Florida to New Orleans in search of a truth about herself.
Meanwhile, the laundromat is bleeding money, machines are breaking down and Enola's application for a business loan is turned down by the bank. Then Uncle Slack is killed in a freak accident. A shaken Enola is further rocked by the revelation that Arlene is the daughter she was forced to give up 28 years before at "camp."
Arlene's offer of a desperately needed loan does more than give Enola and Trudy a shot at saving the laundromat. It gives them the potential to unlock their cages of torment, especially the torment of their own guilt.