People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

-Zig Ziglar

Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.

-Thomas Aquinas


I took a bath Monday morning.  

There were two main reasons for this.

Number one: I love taking baths.  

As a kid, before school, I would get up early so I could spend a little extra time taking a bath before my shower.  Before coffee was in my life the bathtub was my transition from sleepiness to what passed for being awake as a teenager.

As a twenty-something living with his fiancee in a non-air conditioned Chicago apartment, a cool bath in the summer was how I tolerated most of July and August.  And when the gas bill was just too high, a hot bath was a good way to get rid of the goosebumps, at least for a little while.

Now, at age 40, I’ve become a big fan of Epsom salts to release muscle tension in my low back, hips and hamstrings, and I can get a lot of reading done while I’m in there, too.

Important to note that I’m also 6’4”, so I don’t exactly fit into most bathtubs.  My baths are a three part process. Part one I sit straight up, bending only at the hips, legs out straight in front of me, usually my back not even touching the tub yet.  Part two, I slouch a little, leaning my spine against the tub, and bending my knees to lower myself slightly further. Part three, I slide down until the back of my head is resting on the edge of the tub, knees fully flexed, low back and pelvis fully submerged, but with my legs either butterflied open, or with one or both feet on the wall around the spout. Depending on the warmth of the water and what my plans are later, this process can last anywhere from 15 minutes up to and beyond an hour, prune toes be damned.  

Of course, I usually have some music going as well.  This time I mainly listened to two albums:

Old 97’s, Graveyard Whistling.  Their song Jesus Loves You I could listen to on a loop for many hours.

Frank Sinatra, Nothing But The Best.  Because, come on, it’s Frank!     

And, like I said, I usually read during this time, too.  I’ve been really into Kelly Link’s book of short stories, Magic For Beginners.  This is the second book I’ve read by her, and I’m only four stories deep, but so far they are as weird and ethereal as her other book, which means they are right up my alley.

And speaking of up my alley….

The second main reason I took a bath on Monday (get ready for the TMI):

Hemorrhoids!  Hello 40, the stomach tumor wasn’t enough for you?  You need to attack me from every end possible?

The irony is not lost on me that I’m finishing up my novel, Welcome To Uranus, and semi-suffering from these at the same time.  I think a weekend spent sitting and eating a lot of meat after a quick road trip to Michigan and back last weekend all added up to my current state of affairs.  So, you’ve seen the commercials, you know what goes on. But apparently Epsom salt baths are great for reducing swelling. Which means I’ll be getting a lot more reading done in the next few days.   

I’ve named my hemorrhoids Donald and Mike.  No reason.

And, of course, if I’m in the tub, these little idiots have to keep me company.




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