Tonight I’m doing them at the same time. I’m in the bathroom, which is the only room I ever clean, because the room in which you clean yourself should be clean. I put the ashtray on a shelf above the toilet, next to the smoke alarm. Oh. Must move that, mustn’t we. It’s the only thing in the apartment as dramatic as me – we’re both prone to screeching tantrums; mine are just internal. Usually it keeps quiet in the bathroom, though, because steam is like smoke’s sexy stepmother (second marriage; a trophy wife naturally), gliding into the room in a bathrobe that doesn’t hide she’s one hell of a woman.
What with the all-purpose cleaner (which smells like party punch made of Sprite and bleach), the Captain Black little cigars (“I’ve never seen anyone buy these, there’s dust on the pack” says the Walgreens clerk), and a logic-liquefying lack of sleep, my head is humming like a cell phone on vibrate deep in a woman’s purse _m_m_m_ I turn up Dusty Springfield, and she sings with a sentimental infatuation so sincere it seems like love.
The bathroom door is closed, the window is open, and it’s at a 90 degree angle from the living room window, which is also open, so I can hear “I Will Always Want You,” “I Wanna Make You Happy,” “I’ll Love You For Awhile,” “Losing You,” and “You Don’t Own Me.” Yes, I am master and mistress…my virginity and sexuality…my loneliness and libido. The iPod battery dies, a temporary disaster, but soon it is resuscitated and I select Dionne Warwick (who unfortunately some only know as Whitney Houston’s aunt, or a spokeswoman for psychic friends network, rather than one of the finest female vocalists ever).
I feel like Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark when she tells Efrem Zimbalist Jr., “Just tell me what you want and that’s what I’ll be. I mean it.” She has such a frantic devotion; it’s so much my relationship with You, God. I’m only required to be Your child, but I’m convinced I have to be Your child star. You’ve given me so much, can I just give it back? I don’t know what to do with it. Show me. Show me.
Half the pack is gone, the bathroom is clean, the album is done.
Light another, start the dishes, play the next album.