Sun Ra - Column for 3/28

Don't Bottle Me In

I need my own bathroom.

Sharing a bathroom with a woman is like sharing a seat on a Greyhound bus with a four-hundred pound Samoan. They can be the most worthwhile person in the world - and usually are, given that you married them (the woman, not the Samoan) - but eventually the sheer magnitude of the crap that they stuff into what should be your space overwhelms you until you either lapse into gibbering catatonia or, one day, explode in rage as yet another department store sales clerk tries to interest your wife in some sweet-smelling lard that costs as much per ounce as ocelot spunk and despite the fact that every fucking flat surface in the bathroom is stacked with her crap already your wife displays interest in the new Tiffany cream or whatever and you just go Postal and when the police finally subdue you you've killed six sales clerks and two wrinkled old woman who must fucking live in the store anyway with the jagged edge of a Chanel No5 bottle and your teeth, and as they drag you away the last thing you see is your wife buying the fucking cat spooge anyway.

Not that I am close to that.

I am a man. My bathroom contains the following items: soap and shampoo. A package of disposable razors. No shaving cream, as I shave in the shower, for which I have a small mirror. An electric toothbrush. Toothpaste. Floss. A comb. A pair of fingernail clippers and a pair of toenail clippers. A tweezers. A box of Q-Tips. Some toilet paper. A plunger.

That's it. That's all I need for the various things which I do in the bathroom. I have my products for taking a shower, taking a shave, making myself presentable after the shower, relieving myself, and preparing for bed. Our bathroom medicine cabinet also contains Band-Aids and Neosporin, but those need not be located there. Other medicines are generally in a different closet.

My wife has all of the same things, only she has different varieties of them since women are more delicate or some damn thing. Which doesn't keep her from poaching my razors or using my soap. But on top of that she has all the other things, by which I mean skin creams. And not just one or two types. Billions of the damn things, medicated, non-medicated, brand name and generic and moisturizing and exfoliating and with fruit essence and without fruit essence and made with real baby fat and without real baby fat.

We have a combination shower/bathtub. When I am grown-up and have my grown-up house, we shall have a shower, and a bathtub, and they shall not be the same. But this is our First House, which is small, and so we have a shower/bathtub.

When we first moved in, all the various body cleansing products wound up lining the rim of the bathtub, they way they do. Shampoo in that corner, soap in the built-in soap dish which never really drains and so the soap becomes this squidgy morass in about two days and you wind up going through more soap than a Tourette's syndrome mother, razors lying around the tub edges. This was obviously unacceptable, so I went out and bought a wire hanging rack on which to put: my soap, my shampoo, and my razor.

Being an idiot (I was, in my defense, faced with the usual level of consumer choice, i.e. two products), I bought a large-ish rack, with plenty of extra space. Ha! Ha! Oh, the bitter tears I weep now.

Now my shampoo is crowded out by my wife's shampoo and moisturizer and moisturizing body lotion and medicated body creme and moisturizing creme and medicated moisturizing creme body moisturizer. My soap - Ivory, which I like because it's soap and not goddamn perfume - is sat upon and comingled with her soaps, and now in the morning I don't smell like a clean version of me I smell like a fucking French whorehouse during Fleet Week. There's a goddamn loofa hanging off the front of the rack which catches my elbow every time I turn around, and this morning I hit the loofa and it jostled her razor (from my pack of razors) which fell into the tub and fucking shaved my toe...

The whole bathroom is like that. It's like living with a Howard Hughes who pisses out skin creme. I don't think she has enough skin, or enough time, to use all the goddamn things, unless she is layering them on, painting herself in some complicated fucking calico pattern of Skin Needs that only carefully marketed-to eyes can distinguish.

Oil of Olay - fucking right. Everytime I see their goddamn name now I see red. Ole!

At least she doesn't take forever to apply the damn stuff. Small house, one shower - if her International Creme Museum led her to spend hours in the bathroom, the way I hear some women do, I'd... I don't know what I'd do. Shower and shave out in the woods, I suspect.

Of course then one day I'd look up at the branch where I hung my shampoo and there'd be a goddamn bottle of skin cream...

- Sun Ra

Disclaimer: The facts in this column are grossly exaggerated. The number of unguents my wife keeps on every goddamn surface in the bathroom are easily countable on one hand. Her razor did fall off and shave my goddamn toe, though.

Columns by Sun Ra