Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Phantom

I got a new roommate. After interviewing throngs of freaks I had it narrowed down to a final three. There was the Chinese MBA student who thought the idea of having carpet in my apartment was abhorrent. Then there was the little gay recent NYU grad who desperately wanted to be a fashion designer and interned as he supported himself by waiting tables. However the dark horse was the gay actor. Thirty, he seemed like the last person who would want to sleep in a one bedroom share. However he is a part of the cast of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and wanted to be closer to work. After some soul searching I decided to scrap the China girl. While she would have been a nice energy in my life, we would have been too much of a culture clash under one roof. So the two homos it was. The actor emailed me back ASAP. I awaited the other homo. I liked them both so much I couldn’t pick. So I said to God, “You do it.” I figured He always knows better than I do when it comes to my own life. Well the other homo emailed me back and said he found a place closer to work but would like to be facebook friends. That was fine. The actor it was.

Well move in day came and he came twenty minutes early with no stuff. While one of the annoying Euros I interviewed about the apartment did the same thing, he came with first and last months rent in hand via bank check. Asking for a confirmation as well as agreeing to take a turn cleaning the apartment for a day I figured he wasn’t so bad. Then he wished me a good day and off he had to go to stretch for work because apparently his role is dance intensive. However, before and after he came my mother called to make sure he wasn’t a killer. His parents called him to make sure I knew he was a boy. I was glad to see everyone was overprotective and psychotic on both sides of the family. Makes for a good time.

Later that night, after doing two sets I straggled home ready for bed. Because he had two shows that day I expected to find him snoozing. Instead I found two suitcases and two new fans but no roommate. Where was this guy? The wind in the apartment as a result of the fans was blowing faster and faster. I went into the bathroom. The two towels I had stacked in a hurry were neatly folded and the sink was clean. I was living with the Phantom of the Opera! He was not there, but his stuff was, the wind was blowing, and he left his mark by cleaning! Part of me was a little irked that he had folded my towels and cleaned. However, in a way it was a nice gesture. It was been a long time since I have read the masterpiece by Gaston Laroux but I remember the Phantom character would do nice little gestures like that.

The next morning I awoke to find him in bed clad in nothing but a pair of orange panties. I figured he cleans and he’s cute, oh God you can be so cruel. When I got back from my jog he told me about his night and his adventures. The Phantom, who so far as not disclosed a ton of personal info about himself, told me he has worked as a professional dancer since the age of twelve dancing with The San Francisco Ballet, The Portland Ballet Theatre, The NYC Ballet, and The Houston Ballet. He also said he was the adopted youngest of eight. While there is still more yet to be revealed, he is the polar opposite of my last roommate who was seemingly an open book.

While on delivery I found myself getting a text from the Phantom. He had lost his keys and wondered if I had seen them. Immediately after the delivery I ran home only to receive the text that he had found them. Seeing him on his way out I remembered men, gay or straight, can’t do anything on their own. However, at that moment I realized it had been forever and a day since I lived with a guy. I haven’t lived with a guy since my dad and brother. Girls have a way of communicating and we have deal breakers that men don’t. There was no way me and this dude would ever fight over a guy. He is regularly employed and on Broadway therefore he would never be intimidated by my accomplishments, or lack thereof. If I got what I wanted he would be happy for me.

My last roommate was initially happy for me but it had all changed when she got her heart broken. Then they weren’t treating her well at her job. Watching her fall apart was damn near painful. However the Phantom has been on his own since he has been twelve. A survivor, he is nobody’s fool and at the ripe old age of thirty he is a ten year veteran of a Broadway show. All and all, he is good energy so far. For so long in my life it has been a challenge for me to stick with the winners, mostly because I am the Queen of Shit Decision Making. However, more and more lately, I find myself having less losers in my life. I am out of the phase where I make bad decisions and date the worst guys. I am tired of telling myself I am not good enough. Perhaps this guy is a part of that next phase.

Last night after a long night I trotted home and got ready for bed. However, there was no Phantom but the floor was washed and swept. He had rearranged his shelves and opened the doors to my room so the air could circulate better. By my computer I saw the cleaning fluid for the floor placed there strategically in a bottle. I am rather fluent in gay man and that translated was, “I am tidy. This is the way it is going to be. Get with the program and get used to it.” Note, not all gay men are tidy. But this one does live up to the stereotype.

However, I noticed there was a pile of dirt in the corner swept by a broom. The poor guy didn’t know where I hid my dust pan nor my vacuum. (I hide them in my singing telegram costume closet). To return the Phantom’s gesture of kindness, I finished the job by vacuuming. We also share a set of shelves and I cleaned my crap off of one to give him a little extra space. Marveling at my now spotless domicile, the place looked much bigger than it had in sometime. My last roommate and I were complete dust bunnies who cleaned only when we had to and rarely. That made cleaning the place before I had to show it a total pain in my ass. The universe was sending me a signal though. This was a new man and a new era under April’s roof, that messy shit would no longer be a part of the drill. It is time to sweep and scrub a dub dub. One thing for sure, the Phantom was earning his keep. It is much too early in our relationship as roommates to sing his praises. He could still screw it up.

Yet somehow, by giving me a clean new apartment and bringing a whole new energy into my home, the Phantom has already stolen a piece of my heart. Love April

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