They handed out towels and cereal bowls at the door. Not resort towels. Not gourmet bowls. They handed out cartoon characters, princesses, puppets. They handed out reminders that we wanted to grow up and stay children as long as possible.
Then we retired to rooms and corridors.
Do you remember?
It’s what I imagined Turkish bathhouses to be. Different baths for different bodies. One for brutes and shot-putters. One for poets. One for revolutionaries. One that smelled like tobacco. Another like paper. Another like fire.
Instead, our rooms all smelled the same. All our rooms smelled like parking lots.
You chose the rustic room: mounted moose head, stereo cabinet, empty bottle of tequila.
We couldn’t see their faces. Only bodies and towels hunched over porcelain and gasoline.
We started our habit young. Our habit of wanting to be cooler than we believed ourselves to be.
We never stopped.