Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Curved Shower Curtain Rod

Do you recall the first time you experienced a walk-in closet? Open a normal closet door and the clothes, on their hangers, are looking back at you as if they were positively waiting to burst out - until you opened the door to relieve the pressure. "Stop buying new clothes." your old clothes would say, "It's getting stuffy in here and the winter jacket's going to be the first to go." But alas, not with the walk-in closet. Opening the door revealed another entire dimension of your home (or your grandmother's home, or wherever you happened to be). A secret room in its best moments; an over-sized junk drawer in its worst (which, let's be honest, was most moments after the discovery of its seemingly endless utility, but let's not spoil the fun). And so it was, with similar feelings, that I found myself in a hotel bathroom on my recent trip to the East.

It was late - very late. I had been driving most of the day to Louisville, Kentucky. I arrived with a feeling of static filth over my body - that strange ability of thinly layered stuff which appears...well, by doing nothing. I needed (amongst a warm, inviting bed, a wireless internet connection, and a voluptuous massage therapist named, let's say, Adrianna) a shower. Stumbling into the bathroom, I reached helplessly for the light, flipped it on and stepped into the typically uninviting space that is the hotel shower. I bent down to turn on the water (Random question: How many different ways can we invent to turn water from on to off, hot to cold?) and succeeded with the first attempt - I was getting good at this. And then, as I looked up, I noticed the curved shower curtain rod.

Never has a device of such simple implement and appearance made more difference in the ease and enjoyment of my daily hygienic routine. I could breathe - and with ease. The shower curtain, heretofore posing as a large, flat leech waiting for me to accidentally brush myself against its latextual (new word) surface, could not have cared less what I was doing - it may very well have not known that I was even in the shower. Yet it still performed its job wonderfully and dutifully whilst giving me enough space to flail my arms about in a carefree fashion - this had to be how those Herbal Essences commercials were made. No wonder those women were so happy - and to think, we were led to believe it was simply the shampoo. I stretched with ease; I practiced my roundhouse kick; I contorted myself in all manner of positions just attempting to touch the curtain that seemed to be across the room from me - and you know what? I never did. Yet, the heat remained in the elliptical cocoon in which I was contained. I fully believed "The Poseidon Adventure" could've been filmed in there.

I emerged, steamed and satisfied, an overwhelming feeling of clean about me (Mr. Clean feels like this all the time, you say?); a towel wrapped around my waist. The massage was not to be, but fortunately a comfortable bed awaited and between that and the glory of the curved shower curtain rod, it was the best I could get. I turned in for the evening and turned out the lights and dreamt of spacious, open fields.