hair wash on friday nights

the place where I grew up
was working class poor
small houses in a row
and slogging toil at the shipyards

the house had only a few rooms
with water connected to a bathroom
that butted onto the kitchen
with the washing machine in the middle
complete with mangle

the bathroom served as an overflow larder
with a timber rack
stretched across the bath
to accommodate jellies
packet goods and what-not

we had a gas heater arrangement
with the geyser on the wall
above the bath taps
we’d have to put a match to the pilot light
to crank it up
then the gas warmed up the water
and there you had it

friday was bathing night
the food and the rack across the tub
all had to be moved out
before we could heat the water
to get in for a scrub

of course
as a small tyke
it was a case of mum first
and then me
but I had a tub to myself when I grew bigger

if I needed a clean before friday night
mum would get me to balance
way up in the kitchen sink
then set to work on me with the flannels

as a young man
I’d use the sink in the kitchen
to freshen up a bit before I went out
we had to boil the water on the stove
transfer it by pot and pan to the sink
then mix it in with cold water
so that I wouldn’t accidentally cook my under-arms

made a heck of a mess on the floor

during the week
I’d stand on one leg to wash my feet
in the sink
seems a marvellous achievement
to me now
given the height of the thing

to answer your question
no I didn’t wash my hair every day
when I was a young bloke
and no
it wasn’t particularly strange

that’s just how it was

© Frank Prem, 2009

Published in: Trunk Volume 1: Hair, 2009 Hairwash On Friday Night


6 thoughts on “hair wash on friday nights

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