I do my best thinking in the shower.
Really. I find something about the experience conducive to clear, organized thought. Maybe it is the hot water, or the white noise of same, or maybe it is simply being in a small room without distractions - like a deprivation chamber.
Like in Altered States.
It could be that the act of showering has been repeated so many times that it requires no thought whatsoever anymore and that rote quality itself frees my mind for other things. Maybe a Freudian would tell me that it approximates the warmth and wetness of the womb and thus unconsciously calms me.
In any case: I do my best thinking in the shower.
I come up with ideas for the Great American Novel, I practice speeches to the United Nations General Assembly, I imagine solutions to the problems of the Iraqi constitution, I invent inventions.
All while I am shampooing my hair!
I have even extended the range of this effect by studying in the outer chamber of our bathroom. I can’t study in the loft because that is where all the books are and the computer. I can’t study downstairs because that is where Chiara and the television are. So, I move my books and papers onto the bathroom counter, turn on the overhead heater (for the noise - it drowns out the Oprah Chiara is inevitably watching) and get cracking.
The shower (and the bathroom) is like my Fortress of Solitude - it is white, it is quiet, and nobody is allowed in.
The problem with having a Fortress of Solitude is that Lois Lane knows all about it.
Chiara doesn’t seem to respect my study-system. I swear she follows me around the house to check up on me, and few of my activities perplex her more than studying while standing up in the bathroom. Moreover, she hasn’t the least concern for my privacy.
To me, the shower is like my inner sanctum. She isn’t supposed to be in the room unless there is to be shower sex.
Now look, I’ve dated women who wanted an open-door policy in the bathroom; girls who either wanted me to do everything without privacy and/or girls who, themselves, wanted to expose their bathroom activities to me.
I’m not a believer in it.
And, in point of fact, neither is Chiara. It is only that, for her, these other, academic, functions of the bathroom are not deserving of the same privacy.
And, to top it all off, she is constantly grooming me when I am in my Fortress of Solitude. It is like having a gorilla for a wife. I’ll be shaving, let’s say, and she’ll come up behind me and inspect my shoulders for the stray hairs that occasionally try to colonize that otherwise bare expanse of skin. If she finds one, she’ll pluck at it with tweezers until she gets it out. If I have dried my hair, she’ll start stroking down cowlicks and flyaways. If I am getting dressed (she watches me do that, too), she will pluck at places where the fabric is pilling, or tug at where the material has bunched.
God help me if she finds a clogged pore on my face.
And I am nearly always being lint-rolled.
Now I know why they usually build Fortresses of Solitude in the middle of Ice-bound, antipodal plains.
Of course, maybe Superman has stray hairs on his shoulders.