It’s surprising how often I’ll dream of poop— hallways
littered with it, or me looking in vain for a bathroom.
My mother used to say: a dream of teeth fallen out of your
mouth is a bad omen, but poop’s okay. Detained in the bathroom,
my father liked to take his time reading the paper or Sports
Illustrated. From his stash, I might have seen in the bathroom
that picture of Bo Derek rising out of the water, her hair in tiny
braids; everyone’s fantasy goddess and fevered dream. In the bathroom,
he put aside his magazine for five minutes so I could rehearse my school
elocution piece. With the door open a crack, he listened in the bathroom,
correcting pronunciation. The piece dramatized Satan’s temptation of Christ:
the final “Begone!” perfectly timed with toilet flush in the bathroom.