For 13 years I have gone back and forth between St. John’s and Montreal…between Montreal …and St.John’s. St. John’s and Montreal. And so has Marilyn – the first time we met was in 1989, she’d come into the Continental Cafe in St. John’s between 3 and 5 for toast and tea. We’d let her stay as long as she didn’t make too much ssshh (noise)!…
When you go to Berlin, bring your Depends. In the major areas, like Brandenburg Tor (Gate) and other tourist spots bathrooms are either restricted or the line up is so heavy, that even if you have your euro or 50 cent piece ready you could fall over hopping on one foot before you finally get into a stall and the tide not stemmed.
There might be a culture of shame for public bathrooms. They are staffed by attendants who feverishly try to keep them clean by going in to freshen things up, wipe things down, and provide napkins to patrons with each use.
I see a photograph of myself. In it I was on the bus travelling north to Tehran. We were going to visit friends, but that is not so important to the story. I was sitting alone because he was not talking to me. We were driving through the flat, dry landscape of my dreams, like the movies. I was wearing a maghnae, like a schoolgirl would wear, or a nun’s wimple. It’s tight around my face, but easier than wrestling with a headscarf that slides off my hair too easily. This particular day there was a stray hair sticking out, under my chin. I remember trying to locate it, unsuccessfully. It was troubling me. In the photograph I can see it, under my chin. That little hair sticking out reminds me of how I felt that day. Resigned. As much as I may have tried to tame the stray bits, one always found its way out of its cover.