I awake to her cleaning. She would call it subtle organizing, however, I’m not as clueless as I am messy. Bless her heart for the subtlety as I know every alarm in her head is firing. With each sight of clutter, her insides grip tighter, anxiety boiling within. Though on the outside she stays mellow, as if she could begin humming any second. It’s an incredible illusion.
I take the hint and decide to start with a small task, a warm up of sorts. After unloading the dishwasher, there is now room inside it for the dishes which lounge cozily in the sink. I then take these dishes on a three-foot journey from the sink to the dishwasher. A wonderful balance has now been restored to the kitchen. Dishes go in the dishwasher, not in the sink- because that’s where they stink. A catchy new motto I suppose.
Now that I’m properly warmed up, I begin the tough part, scrubbing underneath the stove burners. This is uncharted territory and I open my eyes with surprise as the stove tops just pull right off. I’ve forever been clueless to this feature, I always believed the purpose stovetops was to imprison the crumbs of my frugal diet, mostly ground beef, rice, and beans. Cleaning this newly discovered area is a difficult task as even the rough side of my sponge stands little chance to these heat-tortured crumbs.
At first, I thought I was doing this for her. You know, the cleaning thing. Yet now I think I’ve been a clean person my entire life, trapped in a messy paradise. The signs are evident. The smell of bleach is almost arousing. The neat organization of materials around my apartment, it makes me feel fancy. You know the feeling where you decide jeans instead of sweatpants? Yeah, that kind of fancy. The whir of the vacuum brings me an odd sense of peace. The crumbs of food that have been sticking to my bare feet for weeks, as I transport them around the apartment, they disappear with the suck of this beautiful machine. I realize, I don’t miss those crumbs at all.
It’s crazy, I’ve lived my whole life thinking that cool dudes get hot babes. I’ve been wrong. Alas, this apartment is looking clean and with each shiny section of the house, I can sense her starting to like me again. In fact, a few minutes ago I smiled at her and she genuinely smiled back. The next time I see a man with a beautiful woman, I’m going to think to myself, ‘Holy shit that guy has a clean apartment.’