Things Get Extraño in the Baño

The twenty-fifth installment of my abandoned Granadino memoir, Flawed Abroad: Useless editorializing from an ignorant, close-minded American on his semester overseas.

Viernes, 18 Febrero 2005, 20.43 (Friday, February 18, 2005, 8:43 pm — continued)

Before our Sacromonte excursion (described here), I had a very enlightening — though entirely unrelated — conversation with my señora. Considering the topic, I have no idea why it took so long to come up, though I suppose the Spanish aren’t exactly known for their punctuality. Anyway, the circumstances were thus:

I had just entered the bathroom to do what many people do when they enter a bathroom and had slid the bolt into place when I heard my señora knock on the door. I wasn’t entirely sure what she was saying as she knocked, but it sounded like por favor, no cierres la puerta—please don’t shut the door. I knew that couldn’t have been right though, so I mumbled something unintelligible in response and returned to my excretory business.

When I wandered into the kitchen a few minutes later, my señora asked me if I had understood what she said earlier and I admitted that I hadn’t. So she repeated her request, and this time there was no mistaking her words: no quiero que cierres la puerta cuando vas al baño—I don’t want you to close the door when you go to the bathroom. I hope you understand when I confess to not being able to respond right away with my usual whip-smart wit. In counterpoint to my silence, my señora began recounting a personal tale about her ex-husband and the time he slipped in the shower, biting his tongue fiercely upon hitting the ground. Apparently, though he was bleeding profusely from the mouth, nobody could get in to help him porque la puerta estaba cerrada–because the door was shut. Now she worries every time I enter the bathroom because I could fall and hurt myself.

That’s when I finally remember that, in Spanish, cerrar doesn’t just mean “to shut,” but also “to lock.” I began to fell much better about the whole exchange at this point, now that I was certain my señora wasn’t asking me to indulge her twisted peeping-Trevor bathroom fetish, but rather genuinely concerned for my safety. I mollified her by promising to try and remember not to lock the door in the future, but mentally reneged on the pact after she added (in what was supposed to be a reassuring sentiment, I guess) that, since we knew each other, it didn’t matter if she walked in on me accidentally while I was in the shower or something.

I don’t blame her though; after all, I get to see me naked everyday, whereas the rest of the world is lucky if they can find even one of those infamous paparazzi upskirts of me floating around the ‘net.

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