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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
 

Purgatorial purification

 

She came in naked and looming, carrying a bucket of water, fingers wrapped tightly around a fresh pumice scrub. Ready.

There was a flat sofa bed in the middle. A plastic cover on top. People all around. Then, the scrubbing began.

She started on the back. Top to bottom. Pumice crunching like sandpaper scraps. Skin pushed, rippled, bounced back, and pushed again.

The dirt flowed. Little cylinders of dead skin beaded in rhythm. Days, weeks, months, years of unattainable layers finally scraped off with a helping hand.

Back done, rolled to the front. Up, down, all around. A little ticklish here, meticulous scraping there, all the dirt had to come off!

Turned to the side. Rolled back and forth like bread dough. Wubawubawubawubaowwwwwww.

Donít forget the other side!

Then, she lifted her arms high, bucket in hand, poured the warm water down in waves.

The dirt rolled in ripples off the bed, revealing fresh, flesh, raw, red. The scrubbing ritual complete. Steam rising in smoke curls. Mist gathering on nose tips. Sweat beading like dew. The smell of shampoo, steam, soap, body.

Reborn again.

For five yuan, an unforgettable Chinese bath experience.

Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University.
She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.

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   Last Update:  August 29, 2007