After eating two joyless ham and cheese sandwiches while tearing up at Jon Peter singing Rocket Man, I took out the Hoover Wind Tunnel Bagless Upright and started where the wall-to-wall meets the foyer floor. I bought the vacuum when Bob and I moved to DC with the Sears card Billy got me. Being hardwood floorists in Venice, our vacuuming needs increased. Its special plastic collection cup was coated with dust but it was empty. And ready. I lugged it out of the front closet and watched Bob take his place on the couch, above the fray of what was to happen.
I unrolled its impressively long cord and plugged it into the power source near the kitchen thus being able to work the entire apartment without having to change its outlet. It even reaches around that long bend into the closet through the bedroom and each time it does, I’m impressed. Once I put my foot on the handle release, I flipped on the red switch and smiled at its calming roar. Back and forth, each time at a slight angle, I made my way through the dining room that serves as the place where an unused desk sits, and into the heart of the living room.
There were some small dark spots on the carpet and I wondered what Bob had dragged in but caught myself from automatically blaming him when it could have easily been my own clodhoppers trudging in some stubborn dirt. As I came closer to Bob’s perch on the sofa, he eyed me with suspicion which I acknowledged by saying, “Be careful, Beez, here I come.” I went back and forth in front of the couch; the one-foot space that separates the couch from the old trunk full of photographs that serves as our coffee table. Bob’s eyes didn’t leave the machine and I looked at the heavy traffic area with concern, knowing I would have to take chemical measures to get back the carpet to its former glory of beige.
I looked back at my handiwork before driving my Hoover into the bedroom, and I nodded at the remarkable symmetry of the lines. Even with the small dirt spots over by the kitchen and the dug-in grime at the sofa’s foot, it read clean. The headlight on the front of the vacuum led me into the darkened bedroom floor before I could drive it over to the light on my bedside stand. I switched it on and made the same patterns in the bedroom in short order. It was getting late and all chop-chop was necessary.
After finishing the walk-in closet, I took my Hoover, now silent and warm from its workout, and I wound the cord back in easy and precise lengths on its side. I rolled it to the tile foyer and emptied its plastic cup. I considered the gray, dense dust bunny that had swirled itself inside the cup before emptying it in the garbage and I was impressed by how much dirt had been collected.
With Hoover to bed in the front closet, I tiptoed back to the couch and assumed a comfortable television-watching position with Bob; my body rested against his, my arm extending around his back, and I could feel each breath he took. The lighting was just right; a 40-watt bulb in the stand-up lamp by the couch and the track lighting set on a low level in the kitchen. It was just light enough to see the beautiful lines created by my work.
I sat there and considered how Chris and Becky would react to seeing the new place. I thought they’d be impressed but that wasn’t difficult to accomplish. After all, they live in a sea of Fisher-Price and while Becky does her best to keep a clean house, they don’t have a Hoover Wind Tunnel Bagless Upright like I do.