L’Esprit du Salle de Bain


I don’t really suffer from l’esprit du l’escalier: I’m not witty enough, don’t go out enough, to find myself agonizing over the devastatingly apt bon mot I should have uttered.

My problem comes not at the end of a social evening but in the transition from the morning shower to the day. In my shower, I imagine the clever blog posts I’ll compose, the quickly dashed off letter of recommendation, the lyrically satirical short story, the thoughtful and surprising essay. Then, I get upstairs, clean but hair uncombed (I really do hate to brush my fine, tangly hair, so I postpone as long as possible), check facebook and call it good enough. It's l'esprit du salle de bain: a momentary feeling of great creative power that, confronted with the fact of a sink full of dirty glassware and a living room strewn with dollies, dissipates as quickly as the steam on the bathroom mirror.

When I was in high school, one of my parents said to me “Anne, your [father? Mother?] and I think that you’re basically lazy.” They don’t remember it and I think that’s because it was said only once, in a very specific situation, in response to a moment of underachieving from me. Teenagers are exasperating and I was a teenager at the time. They certainly never treated me like a lazy person. But oh, how my superego feasts on this phrase, wandering between the prick of ambition and the siren song of procrastination.