When I Am Alone
If I feel an itch, I nitpick with the fine bone comb left behind by the nitpicker when last he called. I crumble lavender on my hair and wig like a bride on her wedding day. I make sure there is nothing scurrying away under the petals on my head before replacing my comb with a sponge dipped in lemon curd. I squeeze the juices onto my hands so that my skin feels softened and I can smell the tang of lemon mixed with lavender and lick the taste from around my lips with the point of my tongue.
I wash the other parts of my body, being careful not to wet my petticoats with my sponge and afterwards when I am dry, I pick the black out of my fingernails with Jack Pudding’s ivory toothpick. I rinse my mouth with rose water before plucking three hairs from a mole underneath my chin. It is tricky to do between the first finger and the thumb but no more so than a trill on the new fortepiano. That is the extent of my toilet. N.