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The Shower Curtain

January 31, 2015

shower curtainI had been stepping over the shower curtain for a week. I bought a new one because I couldn’t figure out how to clean the old one. I sprayed it with mildew cleaners but it didn’t work. When I lived in a house with a yard and a driveway and a hose, I would take my shower curtain outside, spread it out on the ground, splash some bleach on it, turn the nozzle to a fast, hard spray and just blast the shit out of it.

I can’t do that here. So I bought a new one and it’s been sitting on the floor just outside my bathroom.

My little brother, Mike was on his way so I was neatening up while carrying on a text conversation with BR Guy. He was coming the following night, Saturday. We had agreed to meet. He didn’t flinch at the idea of Mike joining us so it’s going to be a true vetting.

Last night I stopped by Carol’s. She had been cooking all day and a dozen or so people were hanging out in her big dining room. I walked in to find Liz drunk.

“Carol, we’ve talked about this,” I joked. “You’re not supposed to let her have more than one drink.”

She’s so goofy and silly when she’s drunk and it doesn’t take much. A veneer fades away and the funny girl emerges. I love it. In her altered state of consciousness she encouraged me to tell the friends assembled around Carol’s big table about the impending meet and greet. They especially liked the part that I met him on Tinder. I invited them to come and watch the show. Someone wanted to see how Tinder worked. I let them “X” through the candidates that popped up on the app.

“If you see me with body language like this,” I crossed my arms and legs and furled my brow, “that means it’s not going well.”

They laughed. “What will your body language look like if it’s going well?” someone asked.

“Like this,” I opened up my chest and put on my best sexy posture and tossed my hair back.

More laughter.

I stepped over the shower curtain again. I guess I should hang it up.

BR Guy had been texting me all day. He’s cute and funny and makes me laugh, with text language that is. But I don’t know how our text/phone-call chemistry will translate in the flesh. I can’t make out whether I might be attracted to him or not. It’s all about mannerisms and ways of speaking and presence. It’s either going to click or not. It’s the not part that’s scary. Because then what? We have a whole evening to spend together. And what happens to the fun texting and 2-hour phone calls. Does that fade away?

I laughed at one of his comments as I put the shower rings through the holes in the new curtain. I was watching Four Weddings and a Funeral. As Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell carried out what may possibly be the worst sex scene in the history of British Rom-Coms I wondered why I ever thought it was a good movie. That was back when Hugh had that boyish, adorable, my hair is curly on the top thing going on. And I was much younger.

I carried the bar with the curtain on it into the bathroom and maneuvered it into place. It looked good. The other one was too dark. This would do nicely.

“I just put up a new shower curtain and it’s very exciting.” I texted BR.

“You should write a blog about it,” he teased.

“I would write the shit out of that.” I boasted.

“I’m sure you would,” he replied.

He had read the Jerusalem story. We talked about it as I walked one evening. He loved it. He said I was a great writer. That it was brave and vulnerable and funny. He said it was me. That he felt like he knew me after reading it. I told him I still wasn’t over the whole thing. I was still angry with myself for being so stupid.

“But you got this incredible thing out of it,” he claimed.

“What incredible thing? Did you not read the story?” I insisted.

“You have this amazing piece of work.” he said. “That was worth it.”

It’s still hard for me to hear things like that. If I had still been with my ex, there’s no way he would have approved of me going to Jerusalem. And if I had gone anyway, I would have returned to a level of disappointment and blame reserved for criminals. He would have never let me forget it. He would have used it as just more evidence of my incompetence, foolishness and contemptible nature. The fact that I wrote a story about it would have been meaningless to him. Now that I think about it, he always claimed to support my artistic endeavors. He did in words, sometimes. But the truth is he found no value in anything that didn’t directly result in income. Income was the only valuable currency in earning respect or value from him. And I could never do enough to get the respect I craved so badly. In the end, all he felt was resentment when he came home to see me painting at the kitchen table.

So, to hear someone say that the story I wrote, the story that is me, the story that I told the truth of who I am in…..that the creation of that was worth the moment that my passport fell out of my pocket in Germany, is a bit miraculous to me. It’s still hard to allow the words in, to accept the truth of the idea that I just might be good at something. That people might value my work, my art, my words, even when taken along with my goofy, highly flawed personality.

“She’s not messy,” the NYTimes Guy had said, “She’s just comfortable in a certain level of chaos.”

I poured myself a bath. Mike was just over the Basin. He would be here soon. We were going out for a drink.

BR called and I listened to his deep voice as I soaked in the tub, my new shower curtain pulled to the side.

He seemed eager to meet me. I was nervous to meet him.

It will all come down to those first few seconds and minutes. We’ll occupy the same space and our primal brains will take over from there. Chemistry, body language, and instinct will either turn him into a possibility or another friend.

Maybe one day he’ll get to see the shower curtain himself.

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From → Rantings

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