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You liked to watch me clean my toes, when I'd drape my long blotchy-from-too-much-sun legs over the counter and plant my feet into the sink; I probably knocked over a bottle of your favorite cologne or the toothbrush cup, laugh when your toothbrush landed in my feet-water.You said I looked like a mad alchemist as I poured in all the nice-smelling things I could find in our apartment: vanilla handsoap, fresh-squeezed lemons, imitation rum extract, a teaspoon of sugar.

You said I looked like a kid then. You knew, though I didn't tell you, that I had been doing this for years, that when I was younger, I'd let the shower run, and, in the din of running water, I'd stick my toes in my parents' bathroom sink. I'd squirt my mother's Estee Lauder Beautiful perfume and maybe a bit of the musky-minty body wash my father left under the sink because i missed the scent of them combined.

You used to watch me wring out the little washcloth in the perfumed water, listening the steady staccato of drips that hit the surface. You liked that I scrubbed each toe individually, and you said you thought I was singing "This Little Piggy Went to Market" in my head in the same way my mother did.

You told me I looked sad, sitting on that pink speckled countertop, bottom wet from the splashing water, with my hair all frizzy from the slight humidity of hot sink water. But I wasn't sad. You never understood the difference between sadness and remembrance. 

Created: Aug 17, 2012


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