I Just Took A Bath, And Now I'm Kind Of SleepyCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 31•03 • Jan 29, 1997 By Walter Slatter, Retiree Walter Slatter Retiree My wife Geraldine says that a good hot bath is the best thing for my bursitis, so I got out the Epsom salts and took a nice long dip. The thing is, all that steam sure wipes a person out. I think I better just sit down here on the toilet for a minute and get my sorts about me. I sure am sleepy. Geraldine was a little angry at me earlier tonight. You see, we went to the movies, and I have a tendency to sort of doze off in the theater. One of those romantic parts came up, and Geraldine felt me slump over against her, so she put her head on my shoulder, but it was all full of saliva because I had dropped off as soon as the lights went down. I believe a man gets to be a certain age when he's got a quiet house and the run of the furniture, and at that point he can begin to enjoy the pleasures of life. Like sitting back on a Sunday afternoon, turning on a football game and falling asleep. Or seeing the opening credits of a good Yukon Jack episode and falling asleep. That pheasant-patterned couch has got to be the most comfortable spot on God's green earth. When Geraldine has to go to the Kmart, I always drive her and sit in the car while she shops, listening to the radio. With that warm sun streaming in and the seat of the Cutlass Supreme reclined all the way back, I'm fast asleep before Geraldine has even enjoyed her first Blue Light Special. Inevitably, though, some damn cart-pusher always starts pounding on the foggy window with a sign scrawled on a paper bag: "Do you need medical assistance?" I do a quick look around for Geraldine, and then I give 'em my middle finger and go back to sleep. Ever since my forced retirement, I've had a lot more time to catch up on some of the activities l love best, such as reclining in the La-Z-Boy with the daily crossword puzzle and falling asleep, reading old letters and falling asleep, or petting the cat and falling asleep. I've been a busy man all my life, so I like to have something in my hands while I fall asleep. I also enjoy getting out of the house more than ever. I like to go to the library in the afternoon and sit down in the little reading lounge with a Portuguese novel. I never waste time looking for a good one because I don't understand Portuguese. I enjoy the Saturday-night candlelight service at my church, and I love to go to the waiting room at the clinic at least a few times a week to hear the soothing instrumental versions of today's popular songs. The pediatrics department has a nice assortment of snug beanbag chairs. I'm always begging Geraldine for us to go visit her sister Clara. We always eat pot roast and potatoes, and Clara insists I take seconds on dessert. Clara has a soothing voice and an unequaled deep leather settee with a matching foot rest. I unbutton my pants, take off my shoes so as not to scuff the leather, and sigh for a straight minute. Even though I've been retired for more than two years, any time I need to relax I can still recall the monotonous thump and clang of the cars as heard from my conductor's box. I thank my lucky stars for train tracks, because I don't know where I might have ended up on that last run without 'em. I woke up 11 miles outside Tulsa with my Kansas City shipment still in the boxes. I can explain what happened, though. It was real cold, so I put my feet up and took my big, down-filled coat and laid it over me. You know how nice that feels. Geraldine and I haven't had marital relations in over seven years. During the evening news, she'll give me that look and say, "Honey, how about we go to bed now?" I always say, "I want to watch Carson." An hour later she wakes me up again, and I go into our room and sit down and start to take my socks off, but then I pause to yawn and rub my eyes. I assume that at that point I flop backwards onto the bed and Geraldine changes me into my pajamas and covers me up. I've never really thought to ask.