Bathroom Reading (Scouring Edition)

While holiday cleansing the bathroom, on my knees scrubbing corners usually in my blind spot, I glance up and notice books also, apparently, usually in my blind spot.


I have no idea when Dylan Thomas arrived. Definitely wasn’t me who brought him in. I just–I don’t think I could do it, although I could read anything he wrote while soaking in a bubblebath. The last time I had a bubblebath was around 2005 and we were housesitting (pre-engagement, pre-wedding, pre-sleepless-baby, pre-purchase-of-house-in-scathingly-hot-suburbs, i.e., pre-everything) for my cousins who have an exceedingly deep Jacuzzi tub in a masterbath with a view of: a tranquil, leafy canyon, and then: the entire San Fernando Valley as seen from the wild hills of Sherman Oaks. Coyotes howled and a gazillion Valley lights twinkled in their best Vegas imitation as bubbles frothed like a mini-rapids, no Dylan Thomas or any reading material at hand—except, of course, for what we read in each other’s eyes, newly paired as we were, ha ha, sipping champagne, flicking water at each other, wheee, no idea of the five years of sleeplessness ahead of us–although we would do it all again in the wink of a giggle–or something like that.

Same goes for The Turn Of The Screw. I could never read that in the bathroom, not even in a bubblebath and certainly not in a bubblebath lit by candles at midnight, with a storm raging outside.

I could, however, wear Nicole Kidman’s dress in The Portrait of a Lady movie, you know the dress I mean. When Nicole/Isabel meets disgusting Malkovich/Osmond. That satiny one that looks pretty enough to eat? Is bubblebath one or two words? I prefer it as one: b u b b l e b a t h. Truthfully, I’d rather it was already January 1st, 2014, and that we were driving to Disneyland. Pretty sure the cat did something behind the commode it should have done outside. Also noting the importance of opening bathroom windows when cleaning bathrooms, even if using 7th Generation products to, you know, clean and I’ve discovered (or have I always known) I’m very good at not cleaning even when I insist that I am, in fact, reaching around the back of the toilet with a trembling, severely rubber-gloved hand…

Did Henry James read in his bath? Did Hesse bathe?

Under The Sea belongs in here, in this bathroom decorated in shells and several portraits of starfish (knobby, brittle, sluggy, etc.). Some people call them sea stars. Tut!

The Millionaire Next Door, bingo! Utterly apt bathroom reading. I don’t think our next door neighbor is a millionaire. Although he did just install solar panels on his roof…Oh–I see: WE are the millionaires next door. Ha ha! Got it. Where’s my champers? No? Right, a cup of Starbucks Christmas Blend and hanging out with my chirpy Kindergartner in our sparkling-clean bathroom as he bathes in honey scented bubbles with his super hero toys—yes, I am a rich woman indeed. Put THAT on your bathroom bookshelf and read it. Or possibly on your bathroom wall. Or any bathroom wall, really–those you’ve cleaned, those cleaned for you and especially those located inside Greyhound Bus stations and Motel 6’s. Also, this: zzzzzzzzzzz…

About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
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2 Responses to Bathroom Reading (Scouring Edition)

  1. Beth Hull says:

    I think I’d need a much bigger bathtub if I were going to read in it. Ours is so small the water feels cold in seconds. If we had a giant bathtub, I would read nothing but YA fiction, fast-moving stories. Probably novels in verse, with imagery scrumptious enough to scent bubblebaths. 🙂

    • PB Rippey says:

      Sounds good! Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a bath like a lap pool, only smaller and shallower, although still large and self-heating? Decorated in peacock colors tiles…I think I’ve lived in drought country too long!

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