Friday, 30 November 2012

I Still Know How To Breathe



It has been weeks since I washed the car. I like to wash the car on the street in front of the house, but lately it has just been too damned cold. When it hasn’t been cold, it has been slushy which makes washing the car an exercise in futility. It is so dirty, it looks like a ghost car, all grey and dirty grey. Okay, it is a grey car, but this is road dirt grey, which incidentally isn’t on Acura’s colour palette for new cars.

I am going to have to bite the bullet and take it to one of those coin car washes. There is a new car wash at the Co-op and for only $10 or $12 you can drive the car through and have it emerge from the other side as clean as a new penny. That is just not my way. I can wash the car at one of those coin wash places for a buck if I am quick or two dollars at the most. It is only going to get dirty again, so a quick wash is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe on Sunday, because it is supposed to warm up to -2° and the car won’t freeze into a solid block of ice if I give it a wipe and park it in the garage.

I thought about washing the car while I was in the shower this morning. Well, I started thinking about showers and eventually got around to dirty cars. It occurred to me that there are two types of people that shower, and they shower at different times of day. There are the “workers” who shower when they get home from work to clean the accumulated work dirt from their bodies. They have worked up a sweat during the day and the dirt has stuck to the sweat and turned into body mud. It fills all of the cracks and crevasse on your body. Nothing feels better than scrubbing that muck off at the end of the day.

The other kind of showerers, are the “wake-me-up” in the morning people. They aren’t really dirty, more slightly dusty and a little bit smelly, but they just can’t face the day without a shower. They think they are dirty, but it is more imagined dirt than real. I was always the first kind of shower guy. I would generally get sweaty at work and it was a cool relief to wash the day away, especially in the summer. I rarely got muddy dirty, but I was much dirtier than if I were sitting at a desk in the air conditioning. Since retiring I have become one of those wake me up kind of shower people. I suppose it’s good to start the day clean and fresh, but really how dirty can I get drinking coffee and contemplating life?

When I was a kid, I just loved showers. I didn’t have many for some reason. I think my parents hadn’t shaken the thought that heating water was expensive and time consuming idea they got from their parents, so I didn’t get as clean as I should have perhaps. I would stand under the showering water and think I was in a rain forest or on a planet where it rained constantly. Sometimes it was hard to breathe and you would just have to hold your head at just the right angle to look up. You know, it was a strange planet where it would rain all of the time. What happened to all the water, and how was it that I could stand on solid ground? I never did figure that out, and now it appears that I never will, I just don’t care anymore.

I did like baths because I could make soap bubble beards and strange hairdos out of the suds. Not to mention being able to float toys and splash water. The trouble with baths now is that there is just too much body and too little empty water to really play effectively. Maybe that’s why some adults like the hot tubs so much.

I read once how the ancients would use fragrant oil to clean themselves. They would rub oil all over themselves and then scrape the oil and presumably the dirt off with it. I guess that would work if you had someone around to scrape you, but if you had to do it yourself it would pose something of a challenge. There are places on my body that get dirty and are difficult to reach with a cloth, let alone something stiff enough to scrape oil and dirt off. Besides, wouldn’t you feel oily all of the time?

Maybe I will go to that strange planet tomorrow morning and see if I still know how to breathe.

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