Why’s Bob Dylan in the toilet? Read the Museum Plaque Introduction»
Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets coming out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love honey baby
I can stand.
—Bob Dylan, ‘Buckets of Rain‘ (Blood On The Tracks)
[Figure i: Overview. She had been in man bathrooms before. She knew what they could be like. But this was another story. This bathroom was bar none dis-gust-ing. The ceiling and walls were splotched with blights of mold. The bathtub was potentially unsalvageable—the white of the porcelain unseeable, caked brown. She felt dirty after sitting on the toilet, after taking a shower. Before she moved in, his friend Scott took a razor blade to the shower walls, then rooted out and replaced the moldy caulking, telling her, “I just couldn’t imagine you living here like this.” It was certainly the worst of it. It took her two days of solo painting. First a few layers of Kilz. Then the cover up. She choose deep purple cupboards to match the $20 clearance fabric shower curtain bought at the now-defunct Linens & Things, but the name of the color was Mustang. That seemed man enough. Then she scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Put enough bleach and elbow grease on it, and anything can turn white again.]
I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke
Friends will arrive friends will disappear
If you want me honey baby
I’ll be here.
[Figure ii: Two towels. A bathroom is the most intimate territory in a live-in relationship. It’s where the final boundaries are inevitably crossed. The rabid-mouthed brushing of the teeth together. The first dump taken with the door open. All the hair of two hirsute people, constantly shaving. Constantly in the drain. Especially in the last years, she took wicked long baths. Warm water enveloping her, it felt like an embrace, like an escape. But she could see the mold creeping back in at the edges of the ceiling. Inevitably, some of their most desperate talks took place while she was in the bath, naked, staring up at him, repeating, “Do you want to break up? Do you want to break up? Do you want to break up?”]
I like your smile
And your fingertips
I like the way that you move your hips
I like the cool way you look at me
Everything about you is bringing me
[Figure iii. Toiletries. She always liked the fact that, for flights, you had to condense everything you put on or into your body on a daily basis into 3 ounce containers in a clear plastic bag, on display for anyone to see. What that one bag reveals about a person. Everything human lurks in the bathroom. And the antidotes to existence lie inside medicine cabinets. Dandruff. Fungus. Illness. Aging. Acne. It’s the most revealing space. So keep a lid on it. Keep the door shut.]
Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ain’t no monkey but I know what I like
I like the way you love me strong and slow
I’m taking you with me honey baby
When I go.
[Figure iv: Tuning keys. She found the guitar tuning keys in a box in the shop, and immediately saw their potential as hooks. Glorious, glorious hooks. He was skeptical to turn function into form, but acquiesced eventually. There she hung her jewelry, mostly costume. She liked that it represented both their passions in one fell decor swoop. She was always so in tune with the profound meaning in meaningless things.]
Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well
I’ll do it for you honey baby
Can’t you tell?
“She was always so in tune with the profound meaning in meaningless things.”
She was in tune with profound meaning in things, meanings other did not perceive.