Driving back to the Yosemite Bug Hostel to our “barn” house in the driving sleet. I’m not driving but alert—aware of the windows alternately fogging up, my husband’s hands steady on the wheel, aware of the water rushing across the road, the Merced River flowing to the right under the grand rocks. But we have low visibility—found out later that one of our front lights was out, made this driving home so much harder.
I think of a warm bath, my solace, my obsession during the period when I had panic attacks and even now(though I’m more aware of the water waste) and try to fill the tub “half way.”
Baths: I think of the Russian Jewish women on the Lower East Side, my sister I and going together—the fleshy bodies of the older women like the body of the Jewish grandmother I never knew who died suddenly when my older sister was in my mother’s womb, my sister’s cells multiplying towards life while Lena Zevin’s cells slowly died out like Tinker Bell’s light from Peter Pan—here and then gone.
Baths: cradling, amniotic floating baths. “Mommy’s taking a bath,” the children would say sometimes 2 X a day. Sometimes we would bathe together when they were little and make “ice cream bubble bath sodas” passed down from childhood with my sister.
Ah baths. We’ve made it through the sleet by the side of the river up the driveway and in to the barn.
I turn on the water and soak. My husband turns up the thermostat, pours himself a glass of Sake. Outside the rain pours, and the river swirls.