"I know this girl, and she'd be perfect for you," I said to a single man-friend, "except, she has a cat." Normally, I'd never include such information, but I've wised up and realize today's man, as eager as he might seem to settle down, is still full of excuses not to.
"What do you mean she'd be perfect for me? If she owns a cat, that's impossible. Even if she were willing to send the cat back where it came from, like Hades, the fact that she took it in to begin with says enough." That she has a big heart and loves to cuddle? "It says she's not for me, or any other normal guy. A guy who admits to liking cats is just not right in the head."
"Robert DeNiro, in that Ben Stiller movie, you know Focker."
"Meet the Parents, and let me stop you there. That was a line in a movie. He was paid to say that crap about cats making you work for their affections, that dogs are easy. The truth is, cats are stuck up and have a sense of entitlement, and the people who like them are worse. And I don't believe those people who say they love both. If they have a cat and dog in their house, it's always because the spouse forced them into the cat. It's like those people who like cilantro. It's just one of those things. Either you love it, or you hate it. There's no middle ground."
"Forget it, then. I don't know what I was thinking. I bet she takes baths, too." I knew this would really set him off.
"I bet she has incense in her house, and one of those holders for it, like mini-skis."
"And she listens to Sade on repeat and puts too many pillows on the bed. And she's into needlepoint. I get it."
"She better have incense. Cat litter and all."
"Seriously, you really don't want to meet her just because she has a cat?!"
"You just don't get it, do you? It's because you're a chick. Women with cats are their own kind of crazy. It's like you half-Jews. Yeah, yeah, I know, you were raised Jewish, can read Hebrew. But you know what? Every single halvesy I know is nuts, but they're all good in bed, so you can put the knife down."
You're either a bath person or a shower person. That, I get. You might do both ? a shower out of necessity, even though you'd favor a bath. I'm not much of a bath girl, but I love the idea of soaps, of soaking the dead skin off, rolling it from beneath my nails as I scrape it off. Push back cuticles and grate all your calluses off. The big ideas come in the bath.
The night after the conversation with my friend, I took a bath. I didn't light a candle or play music, but liquid soap was invited. I watched the runnels of cloudy water, streams, really. They looked like a village, the kind you see from up above, or in a video game, where you'll soon need to pick your best players and armor to fight a Cyclops. Then the water looked like ocean cream, and the peak of my breast poking out was an iceberg, the great mass of me underneath the water, unforeseeable. It's nice to sometimes see yourself that way, as a ringer. When I dried off, I dialed my friend. "I didn't mention that she's quite stacked." I expected that he'd say, "Why didn't you say so in the first place?" Instead he replied, "It's like I told you, it doesn't matter how much she's got going for her. It's too much to handle a woman with two pussies."
Then I took a shower.