I am gargling mouthwash while staring at the ceiling cringing slightly as my eyes water from the sting of cleanliness in my throat. My husband is waiting for me in bed, fighting off sleep in order to give me one last kiss of the day. He brushed and flossed his teeth before me, but he did not brave the mouthwash madness that is my present affliction; I envy his decision.
Fortunately, I fell in love with a man who is both kind and respectful to women, yet embraces a genuine masculine competitiveness that inspires me to keep a keen wit, and sharp athletic reflexes. That and our house is very small, so “first come, first serve” is our everyday motto. He beat me to our single-sink bathroom fair and square.
Suddenly, as if possessed by a character from a 70’s horror film, my hands twitch violently, then brace both sides of the sink, as my head drops forward, eyes close, and my mind goes blank, realizing I have nearly turned the corner out of the darkness and see the bright light of salvation shining ahead. I steady my stance like an ancient Sumo wrestler, first my left leg, then my right, slapping each thigh with authority, open my eyes, give two final swishes, first my left cheek, then my right cheek, and spit. It’s over. At last the foaming elixir is expunged from my body, the relentless burning a memory while a cool minty breeze envelops my mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, lips and soul. I exhale quietly, wanting to savor the victory.
Next, I wipe away the remnants of battle from my mouth with my favorite burgundy hand towel as if it were a medal I had earned from a marathon. I smile in the mirror, proud of my accomplishment, and eager to wake my sleeping husband with refreshingly, germ-free kiss.