this may seem like it means little to you if your not in the Mancari family and you dont know the things i am talking about. but its also to those of you who have had a tough life but there is one place in the world you feel safe, and when your there you feel innocent and whole, and things of reality fade black. this for those of you with a safe house, you now what i am talking about, we all have naked lady in a bathroom who makes us smile no matter what. she is the symbol of youthful innocence.
The Naked Lady in the Purple Bathroom
What’s interesting about going to my grandparents is how nothing really changed since the day I was born. The house has the same smell, the same sounds, and the same atmosphere. Once you enter the front door time halts. It’s as if I have entered some world that connects every other place I’ve been. As many times I have moved, as many places I’ve traveled, this place has stayed the same. Paused in space, the same bedspread lies across my bed stiff with age, the same trundle bed my sister shared as tiny girls. The record player against the wall still works. And the smell of the whole house is still strong and memorable as ever, it doesn’t necessarily smell like old people the way you think a grandparents place should smell, but its odor is that sent of the holidays when you step outside in the crunchy snow late at night and breathe it in, its familiar and it seems to erase every bad thought and every present wrong. And suddenly you are innocent and your six years old with a clean slate, a pure mind and a light burden, no addictions and no scars. That is the smell of my grandparent’s house, the smell of a safe house.
I walked into the bathroom and nothing has changed except now I can see in the mirror without climbing on the sink. The same purple bathtub where I played with rubber ducks and rubber sharks, the matching purple tiled floor and wall, the same painting of the naked woman in the river, which made me, giggle and blush when I was young, hung on the wall. In the same purple bathroom where I gave my self soap bubble beards like Santa Clause, I stood on the purple floor matt that I loved so much as child, it had such a soft texture, like fur, I had thought once. I looked back to the picture on the wall and wondered if I moved it, would you see a faded rectangle on account of it being there so long, and sure enough when I moved it you could see the outline from the metal frame. I cannot begin to tell you how happy it made me, I am not sure why but I giggled, out loud, and I NEVER giggle, (maybe a chuckle once in a while but not a giggle). Perhaps I loved the ring around the picture because I feared that if it fell there would be no trace of anything having hung there at all and that would have been such a shame after having lived so long there, on the wall of the purple bathroom. But now in any case at least if it ever felt inclined to give its spot away, the naked lady had left her mark. She is very beautiful you know in a round womanly way. Not like the busty yet twiggy models of today. She looks very real, a lot of personality shines through her eyes. She seems sort of shy maybe, her posture is not a sensual pose it as if she is simply unaware of any other presence, so real looking as if her story would be quite relatable. It is safe to say I love the naked lady, and I hope one day she will hang in my bathroom.
The purple bathroom is tiny if you try and take one step you are bound to hit a wall. I remember as a little girl I could never see myself in the high mirror, so I would climb on the edge of the tub and stand there looking at myself, bruising my feet on the metal track that held the sliding glass shower door. These things seem so little, so trivial. But now I get a little emotional when I see myself in that mirror, feet flat on the smooth tile.
As I wander back into my bed room I look around at all the familiar things. There is a doll house atop a dresser. It’s really quite beautiful; I was rarely allowed to touch it as a child. My grandpa had made it for my grandma when they were still only entitled mom and dad.
The house is three stories, it is blue with brown shingles and white shutters, and it even has a little balcony. Within it there is carefully carved wooden furniture and even porcelain toilets and bathtubs. The walls have real wallpaper (None of that cheap pink plastic that little girls of the new generation put their blonde bimbo Barbies in). The little dolls that call the classy blue house home consist of a mother, with plastic black bobbed hair, in a modest red velvet skirt. Her face as kind and motherly as any doll can be. She has three children, a tiny babe in arms with fiery red hair, and a little blonde girl at the age of seven, maybe, and her little brother a boy of five or six.
A happy family in a happy house, when I was four years old they were happy, the girl was seven, the boy was six, and the mother’s hair had no gray. When I turned fifteen, they were still happy, the girl was still seven, the boy still was six, and the woman’s hair still had no gray. their consistency keeps us sane. And when I turn fifty the girl, the boy, the woman, the baby, the house, and the naked lady will all be the same as the day we first met.