Cotton Boy doesn’t live amid the clouds nor in a castle; Cotton Boy lives in one of the buildings clustering on the edge of Lake Erie, Ohio. Half of my apartment directly faces toward the sapphire lake. I usually love standing by the windows, sliding them open, laying my hands on the sills and leaning forward to catch the fresh crisp breeze in the morning to revitalize and reenergize every moving cell in my body. I, instantly, feel like I was buoying and floating in the air and awaiting my Merry-Go-Round castle to transfer me to a gigantic piece of cotton cloud. Angels hymn in the mid-air; humming birds hover in the sky, sun rays shine and glitter everything. I do nothing but am solely eating giant cherry cotton candies and polishing my crown. This is my favorable daydream of my last summer and autumn since I settled here in the U.S.
When the winter arrives, “Oh, no! Everything is becoming naked. Plants and caterpillars perish. Rodents are hibernating; sparrows submerge close to the bottom of the scrubs and cloak themselves underneath the fallen leaves. All the interactions of our universe seem to be gradually frozen,” I aspirated.
I intentionally pushed through the window, but heard the wind was howling outside. “It is a blustery cold day. I should find something else to do at home besides daydreaming,” I murmured. I pelted a quick glance to the laundry basket by the door. It was forming a little mountain; clothes were spewing out of the basket and carpeting the floor. I collected and pinched them back to the basket. I whistled “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle All The Way …”; I gripped the handles, lifted it up and waddled down to the laundry room which was at the ground floor of the building.
“Hey, Cinderella! How are you? Merry Christmas!” She glanced at me and muttered, “Fine … No one care! No one care!” “Are you alright, Cinderella? Tell me who is being mean to you? I will kick their butts for you!”
Cinderella is employed as a cleaner of the property. She told me her name one time, yet I did not catch it exactly. I only remember the first letter of her name is, “C”. Since then, I called her “Cinderella. She never opposes how I address her; perhaps she likes this fairy tale name. Cinderella is Romanian and is in her mid 50’s, short and plump, but she moves agilely and works diligently. She informed me that she doesn’t have any relatives here. She got married with an American 20 years ago; then divorced and now she is by herself. I questioned if she ever wanted to move back and be close to her family. She screeched and shouted out words heavily accented from the region of Eastern Europe in hopes of explaining me in details. I was attentive, but honestly, I didn’t understand. Her face turned red and became impatient. She kept blowing words out of which I couldn’t recognize. I hurriedly said, “Slow down. You can tell me next time.” After that, I never ask her again. That’s what we call, “language barrier”. I admire her and find she is so brave to live alone in a foreign land with limited language skill. She is fighting against all the uncertainties to accomplish her American dream(s).
Back to the “Scene”:
“See, see, see! Very dirty. I clean every~day and every~day dirty,” she protested and showed me the rag a few inches away from my nose of which she just finished wiping the top of all the washing machines. I fell back a bit and I proclaimed, “It is not me! I am a good tenant.” She mocked and said, “Whatever! No one care! No one care!”
I spoke with a heroic voice, “I care and Santa cares, Cinderella. Merry Christmas!”