Sunday in the Park with George

Walla Walla has a nice park. Today men have gathered to race small cars. I mean like the size of an expensive toaster oven by way of reference. The sound of them careening around the little track is of bees in a blender. I have often wondered what hobbies like that would be like. I have mostly hobbied alone. Gardening and biking; music was a way to socialize but much of the meat of it occurs alone. Maybe I, instead, could have gotten into small gas powered race cars. Getting together with the fellas to test the skills. I award no extra cool points to men who race large cars.

Mostly I hate all cars, even tho technically I live in one. The idea of racing a 19 foot C-Class motorhome is rich. The poor beast huffs & puffs at 55 mpg to achieve it’s righteous, mathematically simple fuel efficiency of 10 mpg. Altho, the efficiency of our V8 Ford is wanting, from a carbon foot print perspective we're likely beating you in total resource consumption. The number is round & corresponds to the number of fingers I have. I, like most of you am fond of my fingers. We are so fond of them, we counting monkeys, based our entire decimal system on them. Except the Mayans I believe who must have also been early librarians & employed the duodecimal system.

There are many modest epiphanies waiting to reveal themselves out of your local zip code. They are easier to spot once your move into an uneven daily rhythm. It’s like, yeah, we’re still in 4 but there’s a waltz time now or worse.  But still, long before, I moved into a van, realizing base ten was simply arbitrary and there is no reason to add the extra number there - that was a big one for me.


Routines have a way of starting from either convenience or herd effect. If the herd does it, say work Mon-Fri then we mostly do it as well. I was bathed as a child much against my wishes, then there was a brief time when I may have bathed myself but then one day, sort of bar mitzvah like, my mom said it was time I was to take a shower. I felt like more of an adult. I have never taken a bath since.

I didn’t choose this lifestyle for the bathing but being an organic creature of oils & salts (and wanting to remain an social creature), ablutions must still be attended to. I have been experimenting with techniques. RV’s come with a “shower”. This shower like much of everything in an RV save the chassis from the beloved V8 Ford is a total joke. There isn’t enough water in the tanks for one shower. And the water pressure equates with late night urine flow in an old man.

The cleaning technique I have settled on is the “whore’s bath”. A name I find unfortunate. Somehow, women are doing something wrong if they bathe after sex for money? Or is it the sex? or is it the money?

Anyway, the washing involves taking time. First I shave. Or rather I use my clippers: whole head, no one is spared. My beard & my head hair are shorn in equal circadian measure. After scrupulously sweeping everything up (RV’s are tiny spaces, all things put away & dusted off immediately), I sit in the “shower stall" on a little plastic green folding stool & get my wash cloth out. I start at the feet as they are the most dirty and get more water just dumped on them. Then I move up, rinsing the wash cloth multiple times from the little sink. The dust of the Wallowas is lovely but everywhere. It takes time to bathe. I can say I feel cleaner & more relaxed than after a normal shower. My old morning shower remains much loved but it had become what I can only imagine sex with an Anglican minister might be like. Perfunctory & rather little else. Whore’s baths are like afternoon sex and perhaps that is too much information but being naked in my truck in the Walla Walla city park on race car day (bee’s in the blender boys!) has liberated me from certain arbitrary rules while introducing new ones. We are a two person military campaign on a secret musical mission, exploring the country of our births’, one late afternoon after the next.

Walmart in the gloaming

can already feel my mesial temporal something or other forming a tract around the ritual of RV bathing  I can see now why Mary Magdalene started with the feet & why that was such an honor and why everyone should be kinder to whores and whatever bathing technique they use.

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Thank you for reading. Stay in touch.
Stay clean however you do.