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Davis, California

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Passion and Pantene

I think the Mondavi Center is one of the most beautiful buildings on campus. I love that it exists specifically as a venue for people to share their passion, whether that is dancing, music, singing or some other art form. Lately I realized that I have my own mini-Mondavi right in my apartment. I call it my shower.

My shower provides some nice acoustics, so I’ve chosen it as a place to exhibit my singing talents. In that small space I pour out passion and Pantene.

The only issue I have is that I prefer to keep my singing to myself, but have a roommate. I figure that even when I really think I’m having the performance of my life, my roommate probably doesn’t share my artistic vision. There are also those few, very few times when I try to hit a high note and end up cracking my voice like a teenage boy going through puberty.

Well, one afternoon I was relishing in the fact that my roommate was out and I had the entire apartment to myself. I stood in the shower and let water run over me as I belted out my best rendition of Beauty and the Beast’s “Little Town.” The only words that I actually know from that song are “There must be more than this provincial life.” But believe me, I sang those eight words.

I ran through a few of my other favorite tunes before turning off the water. As I emerged from my performing arts center, I saw them. Green post-it notes, covering my door. My roommate, who had arrived instants after I stepped into the bathroom, had heard every song and had done me the favor of quoting the lyrics I sang on post-its. It was essentially an instant replay of my shower.

She also drew a llama, which was supposed to be me, with musical notes coming out of its mouth. I looked up “llama sounds” on YouTube, and discovered that their noises are a cross between those of a goat and a seagull. This wasn’t exactly the sound I was going for with my rendition of Beauty and the Beast.

After this incident, I decided to find a new place to perform. On a Friday night at 2 a.m., I found that venue. I carried my laundry down to my apartment complex’s laundry room and discovered that it was a secluded, empty space. For all those readers who have a strong desire to sing, but can’t be heard by roommates, I have found your solution. I’m expecting to see a whole bunch of people singing in laundry rooms late at night now.

I put in my earphones and sang along to my iPod. I told the dryer to “call me maybe,” requested that the washer “quit playing games with my heart,” and told the Tide to “wash that man right out of my hair.” I then realized that I could combine my singing with dance moves. Clearly, things were getting a little crazy on a Friday night alone in the laundry room.

I strutted up and down the tiles, shaking it, sprinkling it and Macarena-ing it. It was only then that a movement outside caught my eye. I stared, startled. As I looked up, I saw that the window was open. The lights created a glare on the window that made it difficult for me to see out, but quite easy for someone in the dark to see inside.

A minute later I heard the doorknob rattling. In walked a young man who lives in my complex. He began with, “I heard you singing and I came to see where the noise was coming from. I thought it was a CD!”

When I get embarrassed, I blush. I can guarantee I could have been mistaken for a lobster at this moment in time.

I said, “Thank you!” and tried to figure out why this man was delusional enough to compliment me. He walked over and said, “What were you singing?”

I had actually been singing a song called “Place in this World” that came out in the 90s. To my shock, he replied, “Oh, I know that one! Let’s sing it together!”

I tried to refuse, but he insisted. So I took one earphone and he took the other and together we sang “Place in this World” at 2:15 a.m. alone in the laundry room. At the time, the only place in the world I wanted to be was hiding under a rock in embarrassment. I half sang, half spoke the words as I blushed continually. He kept saying, “Come on, louder! Louder! Really sing it!” Until my laundry was washed and dried, I remained in that laundry room talking to this man and singing all the 90s songs on my iPod.

MARCI MONTANARI sounds like a llama when she sings. Email mcmontanari@ucdavis.edu to arrange a sing-a-long.

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