It is much easier for me to clean the bathroom than to sit down and write a meaningful blog that some one would find interesting. The bathroom project results in immediate sensory gratification. When finished it looks bright, shiny, inviting…it smells fresh, and if I plug in the lavender diffuser, I might even be tempted to sit down for a while and read this week’s People Magazine.
One of my earliest memories is of my Brooklyn grandparent’s tiny bathroom, primitive by today’s standards. Small black and white tiles covered the walls and floors. It smelled like lava soap and a library that had suffered water damage. Paperback books, pulp fiction, lined the walls in arms reach of the commode. My uncle’s reading room. I couldn’t imagine my grandmother and grandfather sitting for hours engrossed in Ray Bradbury and Arthur Clarke. My favorite uncle, my only uncle, was an artist who lived with his parents and later took care of his widowed mother.
He was the oldest of five, my father, the youngest. They were male bookends for three girls. Dad was born in 1911, and Sid, about ten years prior. My grandparents were immigrants from Russia, the Ukraine, according to Ancestry.com. And they raised the family in the tenements of Brooklyn somewhere around Kings Highway and Flatbush.
I spent hours in that bathroom reading science fiction. My grandparents must have thought I had a weak bladder, but I was a very shy child who felt more comfortable with books in a bathroom than with my relatives who were always trying to get me to talk. “Cat got your tongue?” I didn’t mean to be rude. Conversation never came easy to me.