Winter Bath

【2019-12-13】 【四川政协报】 [Http://hnlsyfood.com] [2019-12-13] [Sichuan CPPCC News]

When I was young, there was a large and tall wooden barrel in the house. In winter, my mother burned a bucket of water and let me soak in it for bathing. In the firewood room, the fire was so hot that I took off my clothes, stepped on a stool, stepped into a wooden barrel, and squatted down, only showing my head. The enthusiasm of the heat made me always think that it was the fairy tale in the TV series "Journey to the West", so I stood up, danced, and set off the clouds and fog, but was slaped on the back by my mother: "Squat down, be careful!"

I had to squat obediently. My mother rubbed my back, but she had calluses on her hands, which made me feel "pain". The mother laughed, and her hands were softer. At this time, the little cat at home would squat by the stove and bark at me. Just call, I won't hold you in the bucket.

A little older, I followed my father to take a bath in the coal mine bathhouse near his house. For the first time, I saw so many slick bodies. In the bath room, I was dangling without any care. For a while, I was a little shy, my hands were crossed, and I couldn't take off my clothes. My father laughed and enlightened me softly. I had to take it off, followed closely behind my father, dragged his fingers, and entered the bath. The bath was steaming. I carefully entered the water, and after a while soaked comfortably.

My father asked me to hold on to the side of the bath, bend down, and rub my back. Compared with his mother, his father's hands are stronger, but it doesn't hurt. He doesn't have calluses because he teaches in a foreign village, so he does less farm work. He also taught me to swim in the bath, which is the type of dog planing, but I can't learn it.

Once, after taking a shower with my father, I found that the towel was missing, so my father looked around and shouted loudly, asking if anyone picked it up and no one answered. How did we dry our bodies in the end, I forgot. I just remember that after taking a bath this time, my father pushed a cart of coal and returned to our home more than ten miles away from my family. These coals were picked up by the mother on the Shishishan coal mine. After returning home, his father was seriously ill.

A few years later, his father died. According to the mother, it was most likely because the father pushed the coals and sweated, and it was so cold and freezing. But I stubbornly thought that it was because the bath towel was lost that time, and my father didn't wipe his body dry after the bath.

Later, after graduating from college, I walked around and finally set foot in a coal mine. The unit distributes "welfare coal" every winter, and the mother does not have to go to the coal mine near Yanjia to pick up coal. The unit's bathhouse is spacious and bright, with hot water 24 hours. In winter, I go to the bathhouse more often, just for the warmth of a pool.

Every time I soaked in the bath, I always thought of bathing in a wooden bucket for hours, and my mother gave me a bath; I also remembered going to bath with my father in a coal mine bathhouse near his home. I'm still guessing where the towel went. Every time I think of this towel that disappears, my heart hurts. It hurts because I miss my father.

曹春雷 ( Cao Chunlei )

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