Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sylvia had

...a sink in her bedroom.  i don't recall dreaming of it, but i woke up this morning thinking about that sink. it was such a wonderful, amazing thing, a sink in your bedroom.   i don't remember ever seeing water come out of its faucets.  it seems, in my memory, a kind of shrine, its gods a row of never-to-be-used painted soaps.   one of them was a blue-suited donald duck, and, another, to my mind the greatest deity of the collection, was the sculpted head of marilyn monroe. her face was turned slightly upward; her lipstick bright red, her hair wavy and yellow, her skin a perfect, slightly rosy, beige.  i must have been aware [i was 7 or  8 at the time] that the real marilyn was a movie star.  but that little soap figure was something separate to me: beautiful, wondrous, the crowning glory of that glorious sink.  it all seemed so right,  it was the sort of thing only sylvia would have.   i never envied it, or wanted one in my own room down the street.  it belonged with sylvia, like orange soda at lunch, like the high stoop on that hilled house where we sat on summer days, like the screened porch where you could sit and watch the rain.  she lived in that house, i learned recently, only for a couple of years before they moved, but in my memory she had  lived there always.  i've never asked her, in all the decades since, if she took marilyn and the other soaps with her when they left.  but how could she have? where would you put them in a regular house, in a bedroom without a sink?

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