Monday Morning

You, Michael, always said that it was immoral to invest thousands of shekels in a bathroom. What does a bathroom need except running water, you’d say, adding another two-word phrase (in your verdicts, you also liked to use two-word phrases to express loathing): Outrageous waste. Pure ostentation. Revolting hedonism. After showering in Avner Ashdot’s computerized bathroom, I want to add to the list, if you will permit me, another two-word phrase: pure pleasure. Buttons that regulate heat, cold, and water pressure in such a way that you can adjust them exactly, not approximately, to what you want. A steam hood that keeps too much steam from accumulating. Shelves overflowing with the best toiletries, including bath oils and natural soaps. Scented candles. Buttons you press that change the color of the water by activating underwater colored lighting. Velvety soft towels. I know that you couldn’t care less about all of this. It’s clear to me that you consider these technical specifications irrelevant. But I really want you to understand, Michael, not only how much I enjoyed that shower—so much that I forgot I was supposed to step out of it at some point—but also why, for days after it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it with longing. Actually yearning for it.

~ Eshkol Nevo, Three Floors Up

Photo via Your Eyes Blaze Out


  1. bath/shower nirvana.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Every time we step out of our Italian shower we agree that this was – albeit by far not the most costly renovation – the most brilliant investment in our house from 1920! I do however have a horror of LEDs in the shower (and we have experienced them…. a terrible idea!). Fantastic start to a new week – I feel doubly vigorous now thanks to you David.
    Heal well so that you can enjoy the powers of a wonderful shower again fully!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pleasure is very addictive. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dang! We are in the midst of a renovation and have installed a steam shower — but not an Italian shower or an Avnar Ashdot. 🙂 It’s okay. I’m pretty sure it will still feel like NIrvana once we move in! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Below is an excerpt from Diane Anderson’s 2010 Swarthmore Commencement speech. I love the line ” I’ve never regretted a splurge in my life, only the stingy-hearted choices at the sun-baked crossroads of money and passion.”

    “But one can be too thrifty. One can be too thrifty to give good gifts, one can be too thrifty to tip a service worker generously, one can be too thrifty to send one’s self to graduate school, or permit one’s self to take a much-needed sabbatical, or to say the cheesy, loving thing. I learned how to be more generous by listening to one of my favorite authors talk about a deathbed statement.

    Deathbed statements used to be quite in vogue, but I do not think your generation embraces them in quite the same way as my parents’ generation did. Reynolds Price, one of my favorite writers of complex families and histories, tells a story in his book Feasting the Heart, about a deathbed statement that became Price’s motto. It has resonated with me so much that barely a day goes by that I do not think on this. It is a story that was passed on to him, and so I pass it on to you.

    One of Price’s teachers during his time at Oxford (he must have been about your age) was Nevill Coghill. Coghill told the story of leaving his dying mother’s bedside after his final farewell, after kissing her on the forehead, and hearing her call to him, “Nevill.” According to Price, she then said quite “urgently” “Remember. I only regret my economies.”

    For Price, this was an epiphany, a motto to guide him into his adulthood, into his future. For Price it became a charge to be generous. I quote Price: “For 40 years now, in all the moments of costly choice — whether to buy this book or painting, whether to risk that chancy love or to write that curious feeling novel — I’ve heard Lady Coghill’s piercing advice; and I’ve never found cause to doubt her in any particular. I’ve never regretted a splurge in my life, only the stingy-hearted choices at the sun-baked crossroads of money and passion.”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I’m going to feel just a bit let down in my apartment’s economy shower this morning. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As I start thinking about moving, I can’t make myself regret the roomy bathtub I installed in my little apartment. Or the slide-out shelves in the cupboards. They were costly for me, but the next tenant will get to enjoy that little bit of luxury. And the people who live in these subsidized apartments for the mentally handicapped need all the bits of luxury they can find.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michael sounded like a right Spartan. More fool him. My shower-room would be his idea of heaven. He can have it. I’ll have one of those posh ones with proper temperature and steam -control any day 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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