I was outside on my little stooplet having a cigarette a moment ago, thinking of a few things. For one, my bathroom, or more specifically, my tub. Even more specifically, my filthy tub. It looks like God’s own biological drop-zone; it is a horror. There are good reasons for this.
- We’re pretty fucking lazy. Who likes cleaning tubs? It’s a filthy job, particularly if you’re really lazy in the first place. I like to imagine, say, Roy Cohn on some blasted wasteland in hell, dutifully scrubbing an acres-wide tub while winged, incontinent demons flit about overhead. He has a radio, but it only plays songs by the Chipmunks.
- The tub has a window above it with a sill. Instead of angling the sill downward so the water could sluice away, it is dead level, so water just pools up there and erects signs that say “Bacteria should come fuck their brains out over here!” Also, it’s a wood sill for a little extra rot-oomph.
- No fan. So all the steam just lurks around after a shower, handing out porn mags to everyone collected on the wood sill.
These three things all add up to: tubfilth. So while we can indeed take showers, we do so knowing that, oops, now we have river blindness. Have you ever tried calling in sick with river blindness? It doesn’t fly. “Put some eyedrops in. We need you here today to cure cancer.”
That’s one thing I was thinking about on the stooplet. Another was I forget because all of a sudden, I heard a sound from downstairs. “EEEeeeeuuggh.” It creeped me out, but then I remembered that the downstairs couple has a baby, and her room was right down there. “EEEeeeeuuugh” again. It was a weirdly non-baby sound; it really sounded like a querulous old man trying to disgustedly ward off some fresh terror, like a chilly sitz bath, or a hippie: “EEEEuuuugh.” I figured the folks had dumped the tot in there in the hopes that she would sleep. I liked to think, too, that she was trying to exact revenge for this indignity by making the most plangent, awful noise that she could conceive of. It sounded like she was trying to talk her body into stigmata. “That’d show the big blurry food machines. A nice Biblicalicious mind-fuck. C’mon palms, c’mon palms, c’mon palms . . . EEEeeeeuuugghh!”
I finished the smoke, and retreated back indoors to escape the ghastly baby-thing honking downstairs. I took a little nap, and when I woke, went to the bathroom. A shower might be nice. I moved the curtain inside. There was Roy Cohn, wearing a tattered, grey suit and listening to the Chipmunks. He leered at me, and held up bleeding palms, and he moaned “EEEeeeeuuugh!”
Boom. River blindness.