Tonight one of the greatest rom-com moments in the history of real life unfolded before me as I lay in my bathtub.
I like to read in the bath, and this evening I pluck my well-loved copy of The Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy from the bookshelf it has been resting on far too long. The water temperature is placed at lobster boiling point as desired. No bubbles gentlemen. You’re welcome. I tie my hair up in a bun, and get down to exploring other galaxies .
Around page 3, I notice the guy in the apartment next to mine is belting Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie. The compulsion is strong. Too strong to fight, and soon I too am crooning in tandem:
But if the silence takes youThen I hope it takes me too
He pauses. I keep singing. He sings louder. Our voices harmonize until the end of the song. I’m probably pregnant at this point.
We sit in silence and I pick up my book, but the loss in the pit of my stomach is growing. We were connecting. That was nice. It’s one of my favorite things about living in an apartment building.
The unavoidable and messy butting against the edges of each other’s lives.
I imagine him leaning against his bathtub wall. Our heads resting next to each other; divided by a thin line of sheet rock.
So I tentatively start singing The Cure’s Lovesong. (I pick it because it’s either the Adele cover of this, or Neutral Milk Hotel’s In An Aeroplane Over the Sea that I will be dancing to at my small intimate wedding, and at this point, it will probably be with this guy.) I don’t know if he’ll know it, or like it, or sing along, and for the first two lines I am suspended in a space alone. Asking for a partner. Afraid of the response. And then we round the third line and I hear a tenor join in as my alto serenades:
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again
At this point I am ready to jump out of my bathtub, throw on my robe (or maybe not), knock on this guys door, and enter into a life long love affair that rivals Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
Then I hear a female voice giggle flirtatiously “Are you singing in here? Stop it. You’ll bother the neighbors.”
So yeah, I’m still single.
For comedic affect, I am tempted to stop the blog there, but it misses the most important thing about this little exchange. I let myself have fun and be vulnerable with a complete stranger, and how often do we fully give ourselves over to the magic of circumstance?
For me the answer is not nearly enough.
And arguably this was the best possible scenario for me to take the training wheels off for a while, because if my love story is this well written it means I’m in a Nicholas Sparks novel and will soon contract a rare form feline leukemia for humans as my neighbor cradles my dying body in pale moonlight.