Nora and I are watching the girls out back as they give each other a hobo bath. They’ve both put on bathing suits and one of them has climbed into the metal garbage can that we keep in the backyard and that we use for all sorts of things, none of which involve garbage, and which they’ve now filled with water and an assortment of readily available soaps and shampoos. One girl sits still in the can, not only the object of the unwavering attention of the other, but in fact allowed to be in full command of the other, directing her to rinse, wash and scrub in any manner she wishes, as the luxury of the bath is not just the bath itself, it is the joy of directing the other to do as you wish.
No arguing. No dissent.
“It’s a hobo bath,” Carmen says to Nora and me, as Ellie slowly pours water over Carmen’s head.
“Hobo,” Nora says to me. “Where do they learn a word like hobo?”