Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Warm Towels and Cold Showers

I was listening to Maroon 5 in my car last week, and one of the songs includes a line that says: How does it feel to know you'll never have to be alone? Post-song I arrived at the pool. Then, for an entire mile and a half back and forth through the 50 yd pool, I had the same line stuck compulsively in my head: how does it feel to know you'll never have to be alone? Over and over and over again...

Which got old after about the third lap.

When I got home that night though, I asked my roommate, Anique, what that feels like - to never have to be alone. She's recently engaged and has been involved in this amazingly blissful and drama-free relationship for two and a half years. When I asked the question she was on her way out the door, and I was itchy from the overly-chlorinated pool, so we went our separate ways - Anique to her fiancee's house, and myself to the shower. I asked her for a proper analogy by the weekend.

The next day, though, I changed CDs in my car, and forgot about the question entirely. Anique, thankfully, didn't.

On Saturday night, after a full day of wedding-related shoe shopping, the two of us sat down for Mexican food and margaritas at a local restaurant. She turned to me and said, "Do you remember the question you asked me? The one about what it feels like to never have to be alone? Well I have an answer..."

She then launched into the following: she talked about taking a shower in the middle of the winter, and running out of warm water towards the very end. She talked about how it feels to rinse the conditioner out of your hair, start to get goose bumps, and quickly reach out of the shower to grab your towel (which, you discover, is missing). Right when you're about to start screaming for your roommate, or the mysterious God of shower-remedies to bring you a towel, and you're most definitely nearing hypothermia, the door opens and your fiancee enters. Before you even begin your towel-related tirade, he hands you one. One that he just removed from the drier. He, with no prompting, hands you a big towel that's warm and fluffy and smells like Bounce drier sheets.

That, she said, is what it feels like to never have to be alone. It's security. It's inevitable warmth when you think you're likely to freeze to death, and it's knowing that someone out there is thinking about you even when you're too absent minded to think about yourself.

She might have said more, but at that point I was too busy making a public spectacle of myself crying hysterically to listen properly. I'm not predisposed to public crying fits, honestly. I embrace my independence. I love my freedom and my friends and my own schedule etc. I have a strong faith and a beautiful family and friends that love me unconditionally... but I can't think of too many things that compare to a warm towel after a cold shower. I really can't.

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