Ayi Audition: Livecast of the “Michael’s Gross Apartment Maid Invitational”

All right, lady. Do your thing.

All right, lady. Do your thing.

At long last, I had cracked. For months, friends and acquaintances had assured me that life on the other side was something incomprehensibly better. That once you crossed the threshold, going back was no longer an option. That even glancing back at your old life would make you shudder and recoil, terrified that you ever could have lived such an unfulfilled, empty existence. I resisted, mostly out of a strange attachment to the status quo. Change is scary. Change is change.

But finally, I relented. On Sunday, I opened my door and let a pleasant middle-aged Chinese woman in to clean my house. And I don’t think I can ever go back.

12:32 I have been tidying slightly, although I know it is a ridiculous impulse. I am somewhat terrified at what this stranger will think of me, what the state of my apartment will say about my character, my personhood, my lack of culture. I imagine her peeking inside the door, cringing visibly, shaking her head and muttering in Mandarin before trudging back to the elevator in disgust.

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The Clean Apartment Conspiracy

C'mon in. Just give me three to four hours.

“Sure thing! I’ll be at your place in ten minutes.”

Possibly no other sentence fills me with greater dread. Someone is coming – anyone – to my apartment. They will be here, in the space where I live, and they will cast their unblinking, all-seeing eyes upon the quality of goods which I keep, the housekeeping skills which I maintain, the very essence of how I live my life. And surely they will… what? Laugh? Weep? Run screaming back through the door from whence they came? They will know me for what I am: not someone who lives like a man, no, but more like a chimpanzee. And not one of those smart, aren’t-they-just-like-us kind of chimps. A dumb one.

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