Following the lead of the good rabbi doktor, I present to you a piece previously written –


Odd Things About Smiling

I am in my bathroom at home, the one I share with my brother.  Before me, spread out like an altar, lies my sink and counter space.  The surfaces are white, and I think Formica, the type, which makes it so you can never quite clean off all the little beard hairs, which drives your latent OCD nuts.  Beneath the sink and beside the drawers is a small cabinet, one used to keeping things we no longer use.  In it, lie scattered, impractical cups from my childhood.  They have holes on the side and the bottom and a spout, and they all have faces.

I am in the bath, and I am six years old.  I do my best to palpate the shampoo into my improbable hair, and my father brings the cup to the side of the tub.  As soon as he fills the yellow cup with slightly-too-hot water, it descends in streams through the bottom holes of the vessel.  They continue to descend, in rivulets down my face, carrying away the lovingly applied shampoo from my head and hair.  The commercials tell you that it is ok to laugh and giggle and open your eyes wide to the miracle of cranial laundering.  But they lie.  Even when the “safe” shampoo gets in your eyes, it stings.  My father brings the green cup to the side of the tub, the one with a hole where his mouth should be.  As soon as it fills with water, the clear liquid flows in a constant, giving stream.  My eyes sting and tear, but I persist in smiling nonetheless, marveling at its pure gift.

Above the sink and counters and beside my memories is the mirror. Read the rest of this entry »