Wednesday, January 13, 2010

L’Esprit du Salle de Bain

I don’t really suffer from l’esprit du l’escalier: I’m not witty enough, don’t go out enough, to find myself agonizing over the devastatingly apt bon mot I should have uttered.

My problem comes not at the end of a social evening but in the transition from the morning shower to the day. In my shower, I imagine the clever blog posts I’ll compose, the quickly dashed off letter of recommendation, the lyrically satirical short story, the thoughtful and surprising essay. Then, I get upstairs, clean but hair uncombed (I really do hate to brush my fine, tangly hair, so I postpone as long as possible), check facebook and call it good enough. It's l'esprit du salle de bain: a momentary feeling of great creative power that, confronted with the fact of a sink full of dirty glassware and a living room strewn with dollies, dissipates as quickly as the steam on the bathroom mirror.

When I was in high school, one of my parents said to me “Anne, your [father? Mother?] and I think that you’re basically lazy.” They don’t remember it and I think that’s because it was said only once, in a very specific situation, in response to a moment of underachieving from me. Teenagers are exasperating and I was a teenager at the time. They certainly never treated me like a lazy person. But oh, how my superego feasts on this phrase, wandering between the prick of ambition and the siren song of procrastination.


To Blog or Not to Blog said...

Perhaps a dictation machine in the shower is in order! For me it's dog walks. I write brilliant blogs on dog walks, but only in my head.

JRG said...

I can only think of a few good ideas that I've come up with outside of the shower. That's why the quality of my papers declined when I moved out of the dorms and started to pay for my own utilities.