Sometimes I remember that in college, six years ago, I took a Molière class and read seventeen Molière plays, in French, and wrote papers and took tests on all of them.
Molière is a playwright? That seems like a good guess. But if you held a gun to my head I could not tell you a single thing about even one of those plays. And if you put the gun away and asked me nicely, thinking maybe the gun was stressing me out, maybe I could answer if I had a minute to catch my breath and answer calmly, I still wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about them. Then I guess you’d have to decide what to do next. The gun didn’t work, no gun didn’t work, what’s your plan? Why do you need to know about these plays? There’s probably an easier way to get the information.
They say that our cells are replacing each other every second, so fast that every few years we’re a completely new person, a lifetime away from plays we read and studied and used to care about. But when I think of this Molière class I think that isn’t true.
Because one morning when I was getting ready for that Molière class I don’t remember, I made myself tea but forgot to drink it before I left the apartment.
I just decided to run out the door with a thermos full of tea. The class started at 8 am, and I was going to be late, and why was I holding this stupid thermos? I didn’t feel like drinking it anymore.
The tea was lemon which you would expect to be lemonade-colored but instead it was dark red, and the temperature was between molten lava and soup on the planet Mercury. I ran into the closest bathroom and filled the first sink with the dark, rust-colored steaming liquid. More bad news - the drain was broken. So the tea didn’t go anywhere, it just splashed around the way it would if a feverish mid-sized animal had met its end at 7:50 that morning in the first sink in the women’s bathroom. I ran water to dilute it but instead of getting clearer it somehow got darker, bloodier, more steamier, just then the door opened and half a dozen middle aged women walked in. At eight am. I don’t know why, maybe they were sharks in disguise, but one took the only stall and the other five stared at me, the mirror covered in steam, the sink filled with hot blood, the entire room smelling so much like lemons.
And I think the theory about your cells multiplying every few years is garbage because every time I think of those women staring at me and my thermos in the bathroom seven years ago, I can still remember exactly how that last sip of tea tasted.