By Cara Lopez Lee
Thank you for reading my experimental creative nonfiction on the subject of my grandmother’s last words, recently published in a small new literary journal, and for so generously sharing with me a copy of your own writing, recently published in a 100-year-old ham radio operators’ quarterly, circulation 20,000+. I was so impressed with Converting a Vintage 5 MHz Frequency Standard to 10 MHz with a Low Spurious Frequency Doubler: Presenting a Very Clean Frequency Doubler and an Excellent Example of a Method to Design a Clean Class A Amplifier, that I shared passages aloud with my husband.
Why does the coldest water in the house always come out of the bathroom sink, never the kitchen faucet? It makes sense to me that water seems colder coming from the garden hose, because I only drink from the hose when I’m outside on a hot summer day. It’s cold by comparison of course. But what is the allure of the water in the bathroom, even when that room is not hot and steamy?
Is it because the water in that private little room seems forbidden, because that’s a place meant only for washing up, or taking care of business, or sneaking in some shower sex—not for the simple pleasure of drinking water with naked hands, not so much as a glass in sight? Or is it only my bathroom that has such delicious, icy-cold water, while yours delivers the stuff at ordinary room temperature?
I know what rug burn is, but never until now concerned myself with pole burn. That’s what happens when, while pole dancing, you do a pole sit with your back pressed too tightly against the pole. My instructor—a 41-year-old step-mom of two who goes by the stage-name Leesi—suggests we shift our spines to the side. That way our vertebrae won’t take a beating during this theoretically erotic move involving a long chrome phallus.
In my youth, I thought pole dancing was for sluts only. It didn’t occur to me that a woman hanging upside down with her legs wrapped around a pole might be an acrobat worthy of Cirque du Soleil. Now that I’m over 40, taking a pole dancing class seems like a last chance to recapture my youth, now that I would be proud to be considered sexy enough to qualify as a slut.
Last night my husband came home and found a small torn-open box lying next to our garage. In it was just one bottle of Prebiotin, a prebiotic fiber supplement we take at our house. I had ordered two bottles, at 40 bucks a piece – normally well worth it, because this stuff is medically proven and it helps me keep my weight down, gives me energy, and makes me feel healthier. As I pondered the missing bottle, I realized a thief had taken the box off our front porch, hoping for expensive Christmas goodies. Then he had run through our yard—we really must get a fence—torn open the box, yanked out one bottle, dropped the box, and taken off through the alley.
Last night I was angry, thinking that $40 feels like a lot of money, and that everybody loses because the thief can’t make any money selling dietary fiber on the black market. Can he? But today I’m grinning, thinking that, if he decides to use it himself, he’s going to be the most regular thief in Denver. However, I’m still feeling a little petty, so part of me hopes he takes too much, and can’t find a toilet…
I’m not going to write about what I’m thankful for, because it’s Thanksgiving and why play that game? Just look where it got the Native Americans. Instead, I’m going to list five things I’m not thankful for, and I invite you to do the same. Not because we want to gripe, but for the fun of behaving Un-American. Actually, it might make us more grateful, once we get this stuff off our chests. So you see, I really am getting into the Thanksgiving spirit.
Five Things I’m Not Thankful For:
1) High Cholesterol – I’m tired of avoiding shrimp cocktail, drinking soy milk, eating fake eggs, and turning down dessert—or at least reducing it to one scoop of ice cream instead of two. Last year, my doctor said that with my bad cholesterol at 180-something, I could have a heart attack any moment. Sometimes I have fun guessing which moment it might be. My favorites are: a) while talking to an audience about the spirit of adventure, b) right before telling someone the punchline of a joke, c) while laughing. Through diet and exercise, I lowered my bad cholesterol to 150-something. Then I went on a three-week vacation in Mexico, and played flan roulette. I had another blood test Monday: the stuff in the vials looked red, without a single flan globule, so maybe I’ll pass.