The Vacuum Dance

Maid and maiden in one, collecting dirt and dust brought down by time itself, is oft confined to her wayward thoughts. No matter the lonely durations when futile impresses nullify her persisting mind, gladness is pinned on her tired heart.

Within dusting and polishing and scrubbing and scraping dried food pieces from dinnerware, one task she keeps for the last. Vacuuming has become the only reason she hasn’t found other means of arranging meetings for the ends of her life.

Vacuuming, the pleasure that knows no guilt. Over every inch of floor thrusts are sewn into gentle reverses. Fingers ease their grip on the handle for the pull back toward her torso just before they tighten back up for the push away. In the other hand a loosely cradled cord slips through jointed nooks.

A toe points. A leg extends. Movements kept in time with some unseen, mental metronome. Songs punched in on the jukebox of memory, she claims a replacement for the dancing partner who will one day lead her gliding feet to tunes unimagined, not the frequencies sifted out of the motorized broom’s unceasing hum. When she lifts her head, turning the handle on an axis that follows her titling chin, the wall of shining hair gliding softly along the side of her cheeks reflects in no one’s eyes.

The vacuum dance she performs as her partner steadily hums, transforms the living room rug into a hardened, glossy floor, and leaks her mind beyond the walls of the houses she cleans. The vacuum dance, imaginary displacement, is possibility. The vacuum dance is the sparkling, waking dream of possibility in the midst of grimy, dusty toil.

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