I dislike taking showers. I also dislike speaking on the telephone.
But these things must be done for our home to remain a place of sanity. I can see A’s head-vein pulse whenever I sit on the couch after I come home from the gym and before I take a shower. Sometimes I just want to bask in my filth for a bit.
Showers tire me. When I start cleaning I never really feel clean enough so I just keep right on cleaning. Then the water turns cold and I, being a scalding-water-lover, scamper out of the tub. This often results in a slipped curtain rod or a banged toe. I emerge into a cold room, freezing water dripping from my the ends of my tangled hair into puddles all over the tiled floor, tower already soaked and firmly un-drying. I stare with mounting trepidation at the red scratch marks that criss-cross my body, wondering whether I will ever actually be clean and whether my insistence to the point of physical marking could be medically classified as compulsion. Then I realize that I do not engage in showers with any willingness so being clean could not possibly be a compulsion.
In any case, I must take one now, in order to go to bed. A’s horror is palpable when I slip under the covers unbathed.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
by Nin Andrews
Southern Comfort Cleanliness is next to godliness
Grandma always said.
Most days she met me at the screen door
with a feather duster
or our new Electrolux vacuum,
the hose sucking my blouse.
She said she liked her girls clean.
She said I was coated
with dog hairs, horse hairs,
and God only knows what all else.
Fixing me like a flower bouquet,
tucking in my blouse, fluffing my bangs
and adjusting my barrettes,
she’d stare me down just to let me know
I was allowed in only if she said so.