Friday, October 11, 2013
Life's Little Joys
The weather in Our Nation's Capital has turned - decisively - toward fall, even as the mood of the city has soured in light of the parlous state of current politics. The gray, chilly rain, steady and unrelenting, seems entirely apropos. All the more reason, then, to take a moment and appreciate a sight as pretty as Rock Hudson resplendent in a pale pink bathroom with matching princess phone. Isn't it sad that things like coordinating telephones are no more?
What put in me in this ablutionary mood, however, has nothing to do with wether, politics, telephones, or even dear Mr. Hudson (remind me sometime to tell you about seeing him, yonks ago, in Camelot. A formative experience).
No, what started me on this path was the dawning realization, as the weather has cooled, of what a luxury is at my disposal, here in our entirely ordinary little apartment house, one that I've been lacking in all those years in even the most luxe of villas overseas: hot water, in whatever quantities I might like. Oh, we of course had hot water - we weren't living entirely like savages - but always portioned out via quite wholly inadequate little boilers, one for every bathroom, just enough to get you three-quarters of the way through a shower or halfway, if you were lucky, through a lovely full steaming bathtub.
Of course, in the Sandlands, the situation was a shade more complicated, for during the half the year that the weather hovers well above the hundred-degree mark, we had hot water aplenty - but from all the taps, hot and cold alike, and at a time when one wanted nothing but a lovely ice-cold soak. Come the winter, though - or what passes for it there, a few passing nights with the slightest of chills in the air - back it was to our rationed does, the spiteful tiny hot water heaters playing their evil, provoking little game.
But not here! We may lack a dining room, a dressing, a spare bedroom or three, and a good-natured Sri Lankan factotum to keep them for us, but we do, and in spades, have plenty of hot water. And, while we do regret some of our lost glories, I must admit that a nice hot shower, after the dogs' inevitable early-morning promenade, goes a long way to convincing one that there really might be something to this Stateside life.
Oh - and Rock's King Arthur? Magnificent. Not, possibly, a voice for the ages, but neither was Richard Burton's (as a singer, at least) nor Richard Harris's. And gams to die for. That same season we saw Roberta Peters in The Merry Widow and Carol Channing in (what else?) Dolly. Hard to believe, isn't it (and an appropriate thought it is, for this National Coming Out Day), that my parents were even slightly surprised when they finally surmised they hadn't raised themselves a little ladykiller?