I don’t really understand addiction. I probably have a few that I’m not aware of yet. There are many things in this world that people become addicted to. Some have a constant craving for alcohol, drugs, sex, power, or food. Others are addicted to computer games, television or even failure. There is something that drives us to obsess.
I once saw a woman who seemed to be addicted to tanning booths. She wandered into the laundromat the other day while my husband and I were folding our laundry. She was in her fifties, had bleached blonde hair, and skin as dark as mine with a red undertone. She was going for the leathery look. Some people like that look. She walked up to the woman folding her clothes at the front table and loudly started complaining that she had an appointment at the tanning salon next door but the doors were locked. She had already been waiting for thirty minutes. She uses their tanning booths on a regular basis and they’re always late.
“They always do this. I know people who’ve just stopped going!” she said, pulling at the elastic of her yellow shorts. The woman folding her laundry nodded at her. “Unbelievable! If they don’t show up soon, I’m never coming back. They’ll loose my business in a minute!” Her voice filled the laundromat. I could hear her clearly over the news on the television and the hum of washers and dryers.
When we left the laundromat she was still waiting. The sky was clear blue and she stood in the shade, smoking a cigarette, and occasionally glancing at her watch. She was waiting to lay in a tanning booth on a summer day in Florida.
“People can be addicted to anything,” my husband said as we drove away. I guess they can be addicted to anything, even tanning booths.