Little Drummer Girl (In the Laundry Room)

posted in: Day In The Life 3
Her future view, perhaps? Chicago Civic Orchestra, 2007. Image: Wikipedia.


I swear, when I get a little dough, I’m gonna get my own washer and dryer.

There wasn’t one in my unit when I moved in back in 2011 and, since there was a great laundry room on the 20th floor of my building, I felt I could and should spend money on other things. Like a couch. Since then, my laundry room has done well by me; remember when I washed my entire fabric stash? Yeah, me too. The six washers and six dryers came in handy back then.

For the most part, I still like doing my laundry in the laundry room, but it’s time to bite the Tide pod and get myself my own washer/dryer. I’m an adult!

The only drawback I can see is that I sometimes meet interesting people up there and that won’t happen if I get my own appliances.

Case in point: About an hour ago, I went up to the laundry room to get my clothes out of the dryer and there was a young girl standing at one of the tall counters where people can set their baskets or fold their towels and things. I couldn’t tell right away what she was doing. Tapping? Typing? I craned my neck to look as I pulled my socks and sheets. Then I saw it:

She was playing a drum pad. Like, she was practicing drums. In the laundry room!

It was so cool, her whole set up. She had normal-looking drumsticks in her hands, but she was drumming on this sleek, super-thin pad that made a soft — but clearly strike-responsive — sound. It sounded awesome. She also had her phone out on the table and she was looking at it, playing the score from there. I’m not sure if the metronome was playing from her phone or the drum pad, but she had that going, too.

For a brief moment in my life, I played the drums. Yes, it’s true. When I was in junior high, I did the whole band thing, marching band included. I lugged a set of quad-toms (oy!) through the streets of Winterset, Iowa, for the homecoming parade, diddle-ing and paradiddle-ing my best “Eye of the Tiger” and “We Will Rock You” as my fellow bandmates blasted their tubas and trombones dangerously close to my head.

Oof, I hated marching band. And regular band. I do in fact have rhythm, but organized rhythm is a problem for me. There’s too much pressure when you’re part of a big band; there’s no freedom for improvisation. It’s the exact same principle with me and dancing: I can cut a real rug on the dancefloor, but only on my own. In a dance class, I’m hopeless.

Anyway, seeing the gal in the laundry room flooded back all kinds of memories about band and my short journey into drumming. I decided I had to say something. I like talking to strangers.

“Hey, that’s really cool,” I said, gesturing to her practice space. I headed toward the door so she wouldn’t feel like I was being a creeper.

“Oh!” the girl said, turning toward me. She was sheepish. “I barely heard you come in. Thanks!”

“I used to play drums, like, nine million years ago,” I said. Before the girl could ask me any questions, I shook my head. “For like two seconds. No, it’s so cool to see you practicing that way. That pad is awesome.”

The girl, who had loooong blonde hair and a space between her two front teeth, nodded. “Yeah! It’s really great. I hope it’s not too loud.”

“Not at all,” I said. Then, because I didn’t want to assume she was in high school (even though she really looked like she was in high school), I asked, “So are you … In a band?”

“I’m studying music,” she said. “I want to be in an orchestra.”

I readjusted my basket on my hip and opened the door to leave. “Well, if you’re practicing in the laundry room while you do your laundry, you’re gonna make it. Good luck.”

The girl laughed and said thanks. I said bye and headed back downstairs to write to you and tell you about it.

I meant what I said to her, you know. She’ll make it if she really wants it. Sometimes, you can just tell.