We had a huge 6 disc CD player in our living room. I would turn it on and listen to music while I cleaned the kitchen. It helped that I had my mom’s taste in music. I’d have all of her Body + Soul albums that included artist like Smokey Robinson, Isley Brothers, Gregory Abbott, The O’Jays etc. The other 5 CD’s were artist like Mary J. Blige (Share My World), Rome, Keith Sweat etc. I was in the zone every time. I deep cleaned to the rhythm, basically. I’d stop dancing when he came in from work and find a way to clutter myself in a mess so he’d have a hard time getting to me.
One night, I didn’t hear him come in and I was dancing to “Between the Sheets.” He came in dancing and singing as well. He loved the Isley Brothers. He grabbed my hand to dance with him in the living room. I left the water running and danced cautiously and not too close. I pretended I was dancing alone and sang along. It was just a dance I thought. He was getting closer without notice and I started to feel he was getting “excited” so I backed away slowly.
“The water!” It was a great excuse to make sure the water didn’t overflow in the sink but I didn’t even turn the pressure up high enough. The water was nowhere near the top. Before he could come any closer, my mom was out of the room. Her door was always really loud. He started laughing and dancing with her instead. Saved!
I finished the dishes and decided not to deep clean that night. I walked to my room and got in bed. I became frustrated that I easily get so lost in the music that I forget the reality of my childhood. As I got older he would say little things to me like I was his favorite, mature for my age and I had an old soul. He’d say something like “You been here before.” Whatever that means. Whatever he meant by it, I sure wished for the opposite. I tried to do less, say less, be less, show less, but I never quite figured out how to be that child.
I couldn’t understand how he could have such great taste in music but a black, filthy heart.
What a waste of soul.