We call them "Shower Thoughts", the Redhead and I.
Shower Thoughts is the collective, gritty mosaic of things you wish you could undo, erase from your memory, or wish you hadn't said-- a lurid mosaic so spectacularly, carelessly bad it is housed in the permanent collection of the Self-Flagellation Gallery located on Subconscious Avenue (Open 24 hours a day! You're the only visitor!).
Shower Thoughts invade in the morning when I'm at my most vulnerable; drowsy, unmedicated, uncaffeinated. My little mental defense battlements haven't been completely re-built after the night's onslaught of unchecked dreaming, so Shower Thoughts are free to skitter unleashed throughout my brain.
To me, the most shameful Shower Thoughts are the many stupid things I've said over the years, of which no one needs to remind me-- because I know (now)-- how very, very, very stupid they were.
The stupid things were conceived and brought forth via ignorance of certain subjects. The stupid things were all proclaimed by me in an authoritative tone even though I didn't know my elbow from my ass.
So during Shower Thoughts, I think primarily of stupid things I've said. Today I'd like to share these stupid things with you, you lucky bastards.
T-BONE'S HISTORY OF BALLET
My friend, Nanci, was a classically-trained ballet dancer. She'd been in toe-shoes for twenty-plus years. As a responsible, busy adult, her dance classes and rehearsals had been whittled down to once or twice a week.
One day we were discussing her life-long passion of ballet and she said something in reference to its Italian/French origins.
"France?!?" I spat. "Ballet did not originate in France."
Sweet and gullible Nanci said timidly, "It didn't? I thought with all the French terminology..."
"Noooooo," I interrupted with conviction. "Ballet is Russian. Think about it, Nanci! Baryshnikov, the Kirov, Rudolph Nureyev, George Balanchine-- all Russian!"
T-BONE JEWING DOWN
My boyfriend Mark had an iguana named Spike for whom he built a very impressive outdoor cage. It was about six by five feet, screened walls, a removal top, and a large piece of driftwood bolted to the floor of the cage, reaching upward about four feet. Spike was very happy in this cage, splayed on the driftwood, relaxing in the sun, munching zucchini, spinach, and mango chunks.
One day, a friend of Mark's stopped by and asked to see the cage, as he'd just bought an iguana. I led him to the patio to see the cage and he was very impressed with Mark's workmanship and design.
The friend mentioned he'd been in Tijuana the week before and saw a cage very similar to Mark's. "The guy was asking $600.00 for it," summed up the friend.
"Really? Six hundred bucks?", I said.
He nodded, looking at Spike.
"Geez," I ventured. "I'm sure Mark would build you one if you just got him the materials, but honestly, if it's easier for you, you should go back to Mexico and talk to the guy and just--"
I then said something I'd never said before in my life and have not said since; as I said it, as the words leapt off my tongue in all their putrid offensiveness, I knew that what I was going to spew uncontrollably at that moment would offend this guy, because I suddenly knew, psychically, that this guy was a Jew and how I knew that right then I have no earthly idea, yet I didn't stop talking, I could not stop talking, my tongue kept moving and my vocal box didn't explode in consternation for me, and my lips obeyed my tongue not my conscience, I said:
"...see if you can JEW HIM DOWN a little."
I couldn't bear the Jew's silence, so I filled the void by continuing to yap my big, Protestant/shiksa mouth: "Because $600.00 is really a lot when you've got Mark right here and he'll do it for cost of materials only because he really, really, really considers you a good friend and he really, really, really likes iguanas, just like you do!"
"I'm Jewish," he said.
T-BONE CONSIDERS ETHIOPIA
A moronic and ignorant brute disguised as a teenager, I sat with my parents and sisters at the table eating dinner.
The Brunette was discussing Ethiopia and how people there were starving to death. A seemingly endless drought had done its damage, leaving Ethiopians unable to farm the soil. The cattle were starving and were unable to produce milk. People were dying by the thousands. The Brunette said the world was taking little notice; the big fat United States wasn't helping enough. Big fat Europe wasn't helping enough.
Everyone, said the Brunette, was turning their backs on these people and leaving them to die-- miserable, hungry, forgotten.
I piped up:
"Why don't they just move?"