Molly Barda Juvenilia: The Towel

The thing that I feared has happened. I was accused, and justly so, of using M.’s towel. It is a thing that I have done for some time, and not without reason. My own towel is intolerably proportioned, measuring perhaps eight inches by thirty six inches. To make matters worse, it is stained and torn in several places. M.’s towel is voluptuous in its thickness, and provides great comfort after the agonizing yet unavoidable bathing ritual. How I envy him!

This morning he confronted me outside the bathroom that we share. “How well-dried your hair looks,” he said, with peculiar emphasis on the word dried. “Yet you finished your bath just two minutes ago. I heard the splashing of the bathwater.”

“I used my own towel, of course,” I said, trembling.

“Only a very absorbent towel could have dried your hair this quickly!” He shouted suddenly. How he reminded me then of my father! At that moment I would have promised never to used a towel again, and only to dry myself by jumping up and down. But it was too late for that.

I tried to prevent M. from entering the bathroom, but he pushed me aside. A moment later he emerged, carrying my towel, which was so ridiculously long and thin that I blushed with shame.

“Your towel is dry,” he sneered, “and so are you. An interesting paradox!” He continued to torment me in this fashion, parading up and down the hallway waving my poor towel like a banner, and saying “Perhaps you feel that you are not much of a man, because your towel is so small and shabby, eh?” until I could bear it no longer.


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