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Student Calls Penn Walk for Laundry Room Trek Out of Loneliness


Photo from StockSnap / CC0

For Engineering freshman Julia Hayes, life can get just a little bit lonely between her seven-hour Netflix binges and two-hour long sob sessions. After eating alone for the 214th consecutive time this semester, Hayes began to feel the cold caress of loneliness.

Fortunately for Hayes, salvation came in the form of laundry day. Gathering up five baskets of dirty clothing that hadn’t been washed for months, Hayes decided that she needed a friend. In that moment, she had an epiphany. “I looked down at my dirty socks and thought to myself, ‘If my dirty socks all have a partner, why can’t I?’” she explained. “I resolved in that moment to abandon my involuntary exile and genuinely touch someone, soul to soul.” 

Remembering the number from an NSO event that everyone else skipped, Hayes dialed 215-898-WALK. Moments later, a disgruntled guard with ruffled hair and a giant mustard stain on the front of his shirt knocked on Hayes’ dorm. Reportedly, the officer stated, “Sup.”

“I was absolutely floored,” explains Hayes giddily, the memory stretching a smile beneath the half-moon bags hanging from her eyes. “I knew right then and there that this was it: genuine human interaction.” 

In the three minutes that it took for the officer to walk Hayes down five doors to the laundry room, the two reached each other, connecting only as soulmates can. “We had so much in common,” gushed Hayes. “We agreed that mold doesn’t taste that bad, Amy Gutmann is actually a reptile, and that the inevitable heat death of the universe can’t come soon enough.”

Frederick Matthews, the officer who escorted Hayes, was similarly enthused about his brief encounter with Hayes. “She’s alright,” he stated when pressed for comment. 

In reflecting on her experience, Hayes felt compelled to wax poetic. “The short time I spent with Frederick really taught me something,” explained Hayes. “It can be nice to be around other humans, and sometimes it only takes one phone call to embark on a lifetime journey.” 

According to Public Safety, Hayes now calls their office three times a day. “Once to load the washer, once to switch, and once to bring it all back,” Hayes declared happily as she placed her latest selfie with Frederick in a heart-shaped frame. “Some would call it an obsession, but I don’t have enough friends to stage an intervention so really I’d say it’s the start of something beautiful.”