There’s something about cleaning to music that makes it so much more fun. My playlist starts on its first track. My hips start to shake. My legs move in step with the beat. I raise my hands in the air. Wave them like I just don’t… oh. I have a roommate now.
J sees me and smiles. I smile and consider stopping, but my hips have a mind of their own. I start singing along with the music just when Billy Idol wails, “White wedding!” We both laugh. Now I’m singing and dancing.
Time to recycle some bottles. I unlock the door and dance my way to the outside staircase and down to the recycling bin. The bottles perform a spontaneous song and dance as they fall in. It’s at this moment that I realize I need keys to reenter from this stairwell. All dancing now halts, as if someone unplugged my mental stereo.
No worries, I reassure myself. I have a roommate now, and he’s cleaning the apartment. Surprisingly, a call to the landline goes to voicemail. The answering machine now has an awkward message on it:
Hey, J. This is K. I’m (pensive pause) outside (pensive pause) the third floor doors. I forgot my keys.
No one arrives. I try J’s cell, but it seems to be turned off. Call number two to the apartment goes unanswered, as well, but there’s more confidence in the second message:
Hey, J. I’m in the outside stairwell, right outside the third floor door. If you’re in, and you get this, please let me in.
The door stares blankly at me. It stays closed. I consider saying, “Open Sesame,” but I’m clearly no Ali Baba. I abandon the door and exit the building.
Our apartment is visible from the outside. The screen door is open; is the next song on my playlist blaring from inside? It doesn’t take long for the answering machine to acquire its third message:
Hey, J, it’s K. I’m outside the building. I forgot my keys. If you could let me in, that would be awesome!
There’s no rustling from upstairs, but someone is exiting the building. I make a dash for the door and head up to our apartment. J is huddled down in the bathroom, diligently scrubbing our toilet as the playlist continues in the background.
Me: Did you hear the answering machine?
J: I heard the phone ring, but I couldn’t hear anything else other than the music.
After we finish cleaning, I replay the answering machine messages. We both laugh. Later in the day, we’re listening to music again. This time, J joins me in my dancing. I have a roommate now!