Literature for the Latrine
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .
Sometimes itâ€™s best that people not try to make conversation. This is one of those times and Carolynâ€™s one of those people.
Sheâ€™s trying to break the ice at a social by asking what different books, magazines, and newspapers we keep in our bathrooms as â€œreading material.â€ And silly me, I just bought a $40 cane magazine rack for $10 at Olde Time Pottery so I could have a pretty way to store and display my latrine literature.
I started keeping magazines in the primary bathroom several years ago when my colleaguesâ€”Audrea, Emily, Susan, and Lynda from the Acquisition Center of Excellenceâ€”were so enamored of the FlyLadyâ€™s techniques for getting rid of clutter. I still get a kick out of FlyLadyâ€™s website, partially because the FlyLady really does resemble my former High Priestess in her fairy costume and the harried â€œSidetracked Home Executiveâ€ looks an awful lot like Silver Ravenwolf.
Somewhere around then, I read a time management technique that suggested keeping your favorite not-yet-read magazines close to the toilet because you could read short articles and make the most of your every minute. Their words, not mine, but it seemed like a reasonable idea. Though I still have some unread magazines from 2002â€¦.
I learned a long time ago that the kids were less likely to disturb me in the bathroom or in the bathtub, so the bathtub especially became the spot to read one single chapter at a time of whatever novel I couldnâ€™t otherwise find time to read.
But Carolyn wants to know what literature I keep next to the toilet. Is it a book of humor? The newspaper? What?
Well, um, okay. Magazines. Only magazines.
Gothic Beauty magazine, featuring Rose Mortem attire, Love and the Crow, new music, and fantasy designs for a summer of eternal love, all scrawled across a girl with blue-black hair (I recognize the hue) and a black vinyl corset and black latex gloves. Her ears are triple-pierced, which mine used to be until I let them grow up because everyone else was getting theirs triple-pierced a decade later. Bah-humbug!
Scientific American, special edition. The cover has a cool mask that might be a pig or aâ€¦well, no, itâ€™s a pig. Hmmmm. Not sure which article I bought it for. Could have been the one on the Ice Man mummy or the archeology of ancient Sumer.
New Witch magazine, which bills itself as â€œNot your motherâ€™s broomstick.â€ Two copies. One cover has a life-size face photo of Phyllis Curott, whom I met in Central Park a couple of years ago with Maggie Shayne the time we took the bicycle taxi and later hung out at the Waldorf Towersâ€™ Starlight Roof black tie party that Harlequin threw. I always enjoy Phyllisâ€™ comments in a small online forum Iâ€™m a part of. But I didnâ€™t buy it for Phyllis. I think the headline about â€œConjuring Johnny Deppâ€ might be a clue
Renaissance magazine. Three copies. Cool swords, obscure history, Medieval attire, how to make chainmail, music reviews of the Medieval Babes, Ren Faire listings, what to do if you accidentally inhale belladonna oilâ€¦.yeah, I love these magazines.
More magazine. Absolutely my favorite mainstream magazine. The whole idea behind this magazine is how much fun youâ€™re going to have once you turn 40 and how little crap youâ€™re going to put up with. A fun, informative, joyful magazine that will not find its way to the office restroom or to the local hospital waiting room because I wouldnâ€™t dream of throwing these out or giving them away. Very different from the gotta-please-your-man crap thatâ€™s peddled in Cosmo and periodicals for the 20-something.
Sage Woman magazine. Two copies. A spiritual magazine dedicated to â€œCelebrating the Goddess in Every Woman.â€ Read mostly for the reviews, and Iâ€™m partial to SageWoman because of the grand review they gave â€œA Reverence for Trees,â€ when it first came out in paperback.
Circle Magazine. The Nature Spirituality Quarterly. This particular issue is on Gods, and the one drawn on the cover is Celtic and cute with long blond hair and aâ€¦cape?
Light of Consciousness magazine. Itâ€™s a journal of spiritual awakening, with this issue focused on spiritual preparation for Earth changes, compassion and wisdom, and extended mind research. I think my favorite part is the ad for Namaste (â€œThe spirit in me sees the spirit in youâ€) wedding bands, though if I ever marry again, I think Iâ€™ll opt for a Celtic tattoo around my ring finger.
Atlantis Rising magazine. Just fun articles on ancient mysteries, geology, the Great Pyramid, biology, and â€œstrange secrets of Nashville.â€ This one was part of my research for a novel I wonâ€™t get to write until next year because Iâ€™m so overbooked.
Frederickâ€™s of Hollywood. Okay, technically, itâ€™s a catalog. Corsets are the trend this season, apparently. Iâ€™ll keep that in mind, along with the fantasy that one day Iâ€™m going to wear only bras and panties that match.
Carolyn, of course, is sorry she asked at all. I lost her at Scientific American.