|11 August 2023|
From the very first time I met Rosemary in 1967 a bathtub was of supreme importance for her. In those days she wore contact lenses and without them she could not see anything. She avoided showers and swimming.
That first time around Christmas, when I took her to show her
off to my mother in Veracruz, she had a hard time coping with the heat. My
mother had no tub so Rosemary was extra careful. and seemed to take showers all day.
Once we married we lived in an extremely narrow little apartment in the not yet fashionable Zona Rosa. It had no tub. But in our next move we had one and I remember that we would put our first baby daughter Alexandra in the tub when we wanted some privacy and no crying. The photograph here is from that house in Herodoto (also in the Zona Rosa). In the little house we bought with my mother’s help in Arboledas, Estado de México there was a beautiful tub with Mexican tiles called azulejos.
It was in that house that one day we arrived and our live-in housekeeper told us that Ale had swallowed a bottle of carbon tetra-chloride (Carbona an upholstery cleaner). She looked terrible. I called our doctor who told me to immediately take her to the hospital after inducing vomiting.
Because I had been a boy scout in my youth I remembered that with corrosive poisons you did not do that. I put her in the tub and ran cold water on her face. Her eyes were up there and you could not see them. I then took her to our neighbourhood doctor who pumped her stomach. I believe I may have been responsible for saving her life.
When we moved to Vancouver we always had a tub. In our townhouse in Burnaby, because the bathroom with the tub was so important (for Rosemary!), I laid a parquet floor.
It was in Burnaby with its shaggy carpets that Rosemary’s contact lenses became a terrible problem. It seems that as soon as we were going to the theatre she would drop one of her contacts and I would have to look for it. A few years later a laser treatment of her eyes eliminated those slippery contacts. But we always insisted in having tubs in our hotel rooms when we travelled.
In Kerrisdale we had two tubs, but one leaked. In our little house in Kitsilano we had and have a very nice tub and bathroom. The toilet seat is heated and the tub has some water action but we never did use it.
I have written here before that Rosemary and I liked to take tub baths together. Or she would say when I was in it, “Leave the water for me.” And there were some shenanigans when both of us were in the tub that involved the use of toes.
Tonight when I was running the tub for my bath I had that same empty feeling that I have when I get into bed and note the side of the bed where she slept. This empty presence (as I call it) follows me wherever I go.