The bathroom is a memory vortex. More things are forgotten there than anywhere else in the house. More things are invented there than anywhere, too. The bathroom is a zone of improved brain function, its door the threshold of the mundane world where clear thinking is not my forte. The only place to hang my socks when I take them off in the bathroom so I don’t forget them on the way out is on the door handle. The only way to remember that ingenious idea that struck me as I was showering or hanging laundry—to keep repeating it aloud to myself until I walk out of the zone. That only works in about six cases out of ten though, and even if I do remember the essence, with the breach of the zone the thought loses all of its fantasy embellishments and becomes bleak, blah, yawn-inducing.
There are rules of behavior in the bathroom. Slippers must be placed before the shower cabin ready to step into before showering. Brush teeth, rinse and floss before washing face. Laundry must be folded before being carried into the closet. See, it must all be taken there at once, so there’s no dreaded second trip. The folding, therefore, proceeds at a strict hierarchy which is based on size and convenience of carrying: bed linens and towels first, then A.’s shirts, his underpants (why are boys’ underpants always such large and cumbersome things?) and socks (he doesn’t like them balled up, so they just go neatly next to each other), then my shirts and pajamas, underwear and balled-up socks on top. This way, when the tower of laundry and I get to the closet, things can just come off the top and nothing will scatter.
The cat (still just the one, we’re still hoping) is attracted to the bathroom as if it were a treasure trove. Its attractions are many: the shower cabin is a castle, the toilet its moat, the sink is a majestic throne, and the laundry is a take-all-you-can toy display. Obviously, there are rules here as well. For us: always close the door, the shower door, and the toilet lid. Stomp loudly before exiting, that might scare him off. Pick up by the belly to remove. For him: wait right by the door for the slightest crack. Scream bloody murder when someone goes in and locks the door. Run straight under the laundry rack to avoid being caught. Check everywhere: the treasure may have been moved. Try and try again.
Surely, there can’t be another five sq. m. of space as tightly packed with meanings, thoughts, and objects of feline desire as the bathroom of our house. One can only wish for such vibrant a life for the rest of the place.