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I have this need at the moment. It is the need to take a steaming hot bath, and to lie back in water which covers practically my entire body and luxurate without a care in the world.
I don't know how to rid myself of this need; how to stop myself from yearning for this small, steam-filled room; the aloneness of bathing; the simplicity of hot water; the luxury of peace and quiet.
But I have already bathed this morning. Just before midday I allowed myself the supreme pleasure of enclosing myself in this small room and relaxing, undisturbed in the hot waters. I washed the grime of this morning's search through the fleamarket for treasures to add to my collection from every pore of my body. I laid back and savoured the knowledge that I had found more rarities and topped up, occasionally, the steam with fresh water.
When I was younger and still living and working in London - we're talking the late Seventies, early Eighties now - I had the opportunity to visit a massage parlour with sauna. Yes, a massage parlour with women who, for that extra bit of cash, would give that extra bit of attention; but that didn't interest me. For some reason, while we - I was introduced to the massage parlour by a friend - were meant to be chatting with the girls, waiting for the paying customers to finish and disappear so that we'd have use of the facilities for nothing, I was transfixed by the television. Don't get me wrong, a television was nothing unusual all those years ago; we even had a colour one at home which I was allowed to watch as a child, but discarded as a young adult in favour of books. Perhaps it was a defence mechanism, so that I wouldn't have to talk with thse professional ladies, there certainly wasn't anything interesting to see on the box at that time of day. This was my only chance to enter and enjoy a sauna; since then I have been near saunas - yesterday I was looking at how much they cost - but I've never really had the chance to go back in and savour the steam, the heat.
In Berlin the main saunas available in the area I was visiting were purely for members: gay members. A few weekends ago, while I was attending a training course near Hannover, the sauna wasn't working on the first night, and reserved for women on the second. There are no other saunas in my area that I know of. A hot, steaming bath is the only thing that comes close, and is still a long way away.
To fulfil my need I have cooked Chinese noodles with water mushrooms, and eaten them with chopsticks; reminding me of my time in Belize when I was invited to visit a Chinese family, and stunned them by picking up chopsticks and using them; something they had never seen with a foreigner before. Noodles with a sharp sauce, to stem - or to further - my other passions. Indian food, curry and spicey, passion bringers.
To night I shall have to travel to another town where there is an Indian restaurant. So many needs, so few opportunities.
4/9/2005 3:32 pm
Jeeze, reading your post has given me the sudden urge to soak my feet in some steamy water (wish I wasn't too long for the tub).|