because i live alone

some of the dishes in the dishwasher are clean, and some are not.  i always know which is which.

there are socks and underwear on the floor.  some are clean, and some are not, but again, i always know which is which.

i sing to the dog.  usually i take whatever song’s in my head at the time and modify it to include either her name or a dog theme.
“oh no, there goes tokyo, oh no, maudezilla!”
“i got a feeling, a puppy’s watching me…”
“got me a maudie, i want you to know!”

or sometimes i sing my own dog song, always to the same made-up tune.
“who’s the best dawwwwwwwg?  who’s the prettiest dawwwwwwg?”
“oh, that’s my mauuuuuuude!”
“food for the maude, water for the mauuuuude.”
she used to do the quizzical-dog head tilt whenever i would sing to her, but she’s desensitized now.

and sometimes i just sing whatever song’s in my head, without modification.  i try to sing it really well, but if it’s late at night or early in the morning or i’ve been sick, it comes out all scratchy and doesn’t sound very good.  this does not, however, stop me from singing it.

the floor is dirty, the microwave hasn’t been cleaned for ages, and i don’t even want to talk about the shower.

there are several bottles of nail polish on the coffee table, but not because i polish my nails a lot.  no, it’s because the bottles are the perfect sizes to wrap wire around to make jewelry.  this is also why the coffee table is littered with pens, pencils, plastic tic-tac boxes, and a seam-ripper.

and it’s why the carpet is covered with bits of wire.

i always have a glass of water nearby, with a straw in it.  sometimes i’ll use the same glass for a week before it occurs to me that i should wash it.

when i cut my fingernails, i don’t always make sure there’s a trash can underneath.

whenever someone comes over, i become acutely aware of the noises they make.  the sound of a person breathing, or clearing their throat, or shifting their weight on the couch always surprises me for a split-second before i realize, hey, it’s all right, there’s someone else in your apartment.  no big deal.

i forget there are other people.

when someone comes over, i’m also aware of things in my apartment that i hadn’t noticed before.  the scuff marks the cast on my leg has been making on the kitchen tile.  the indelible coffee stains on the counter.  the half-empty glasses of water everywhere.

i am not always wearing pants.  if i am not wearing pants, or if there’s bleach in my hair or some sort of skin-improving mask on my face, i’m deathly afraid someone’s going to knock on the door.  even if it’s the mail lady.

in every room there is a hairclip within reach – in the study, in the kitchen, on the coffee table, on the nightstand.

if i’ve seen this movie or that episode a bunch of times, i talk along with my favorite dialogue.

some nights the television’s on even if i’m not watching it.  even if i’m in the other room for hours, playing music on the computer and singing along with it in my scratchiest voice, the television’s still on.

i forget there are other people.