The diary of a rebel (or how I refused to sign my Communist Youth Union membership card) – part 3

by Viviana on March 23, 2012

in Personal

We take a bath every Saturday. At 7 pm sharp my Granddad goes to the bathroom and turns on the gas to the boiler. The boiler is old. Granddad changes parts of it when it breaks. One time I remember we could all have died because the neighbor forgot to turn off the gas, but we were all ok in the end after a lot of smoke and apparently some funny noises I was not exposed to. Granny blamed the neighbor’s wife. It was just a little bit of fuss and my Granny cursing the careless wife of the policeman next door.

My weekly bath goes like this: Granny has me sit on a piece of wood (she always says that the plank placed in the tub protects me from germs). The piece of wood is very old. I think it stood witness to the birth, evolution and death of many, many generations of germs. Next step in my washing is taking off my underwear. Granny rubs the panties against a piece of homemade soap frantically until they are all yellow. Then she orders me to rub my body with them. I hate that because the panties are cold by now. I don’t know why, but I think the only season we have in Romania is winter. Then the worst part comes. I come out of the tub and I lean its edge. Granny rubs my hair with the hard piece of soap. I squeak like a mouse. It hurts and I hate the smell. Thinking or what comes next makes me curse the day I was born and wish I died inside my mother’s womb. After the soap job, Granny pours gas on my hair. At the end, some vinegar. They are, one after another: against lice and for my hair to look shiny and beautiful. My hair never looks shiny and beautiful, because it is always cut short. But is stinks, that’s for sure. Sometimes some gas goes into my eyes. The pain is similar to the pain I have when I get a 7 and I imagine all kinds of terrible things happening to me. And they always do. My Granny does not like low grades.

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