Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Bath

She slipped into the steaming waters of her bath, feeling the prickle of water just a tad too warm for her cold skin.  It thundered out of the spout and into the tub, blustering and burbling.  She sat, palms touching the lightly textured bottom of the one-piece plastic bathtub, and let the heat engulf her.  It rose covering her legs; ankles first, then calves, then knees, almost up to her waist before she had to turn it off.  Sometimes she wanted to just let it run and run and watch it overflow the confines of it's little world.

The clear plastic curtain rings shuttled along the metal bar as she twitched the curtain closed.  The bamboo print on the fashion curtain was frosted over by the shower liner, but it made her feel like she was in a little oasis.  Her own private place in a house with no private spaces.  She finally lowered herself into the steaming waters and felt her whole body relax.  The tension in her neck tingled away, the tightness between her shoulder blades evaporated as the heat sunk into her bones, warming the cockles of her soul.  She lay there, if it could be called laying, head propped up on the angled back of the tub, legs criss-cross apple sauce to get them under the water, and wished bathtubs in America were more like the ones in England.  Or rather, the one tub she had the exquisite pleasure of bathing in whilst in England.  It was longer, much longer, narrower, but higher.  It was the only time in her adult life that she had been able to completely lie in the tub without origami folding herself into an awkward position.  It had also been deep enough to cover her COMPLETELY.  Heaven.

She closed her eyes, feeling the heat creep up the back of her neck and into her skull.  How long had it been since her last bath?  She showered, of course, but baths were less about cleaning herself and more for soaking in the heat.  A long while she reckoned.

Eventually she sat up a little, sweat dripping down her face, water running off her shoulders, and carefully dried her hands and picked up her battered copy of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  She felt like she had been reading it forever, and in a way she had, in the sense that she didn't want it to end.  It was a rich, peculiar, foreign flavour and she wanted it to linger on her tongue for as long as possible.  She dipped back into Shadow's complicated and bizarre world with a pang of sadness.  She was (because she rarely read one book at a time, ever) reading Sandman, and remembered her Lord Morpheous was no more.  He had passed on, if The Endless could even pass on, and was replaced by Dream of the Endless.  She had liked him, perhaps overmuch, but nearly best of his siblings.  Him, Death, and Delirium.  She loved all children that were born from the mind of the man named Gaiman.  He is truly a god on earth, The Lord of Dream, who weaves together time and space to forge new realities.  All of this passed through her head in the space of a few seconds, because there is a considerable gap between reading something and having a series of thoughts.
She consumed a chapter before replacing the bookmark made from the second-hand bookstore receipt from when she purchased the book, washed her face, and slowly extricated herself from the bath.

If she could live in the warm, liquid dream-world of the bath, she just might never go back to normal living.  It was so lovely.  But like all lovely things, too much cheapens the loveliness, and she left the water to gurgle down the drain until next time.

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