Monday, April 2, 2012

7 Signs It's Time to Take a Bath

1 - Your sister calls out of the blue and spends ten minutes telling you a mutual friend has been seriously ill before she tells you that he also died.

2 - The world crashes in, all loud and obnoxious. Horns and yells of “bitch!” or the far crueler judgment “nice”, spoken with a vengeful irony. That bicyclist didn’t even realize he ran the stop sign and he almost slams into your car. And your adherence to the rules of the road warrants the condemnation. People always think they have the right of way, shame you for moving through the world as if you deserve it. And you do. You move and get by and stay true to yourself, but it hardens over the loud day.

3 - Other people turn away, keep their distance. You’re not sure if you actually smell, or if they just see the sweat, fresh and clean, from your run, where you pushed yourself that last mile so that your legs tremble and you know they will be sore the next day.

4 - The hotel room has a tub with jets.

5 - The fungus between your toes is so think it spreads your toes. Your shoes don’t even fit anymore. Your socks are lumpy. The feathery strands of orange poke through the argyle. It smells of compost water, the dark brown tea of aging leaves.

6 - The cold seeps into the bones, the muscles are tight and cramped, having forgotten what it means to be touched. The skin slides over the lonely muscle, a shield and a curtain of shame to hide the separation of self and world. In the steamy warmth of the bath, salty as tears and ocean, fragrant of orange blossom and vetiver, the spine uncoils, remembering darkness.

7 - The layer of dust on your eyelids has grown so thick you cannot see your graying hands, cannot see the veins that have become such emboldened roads. Soak it all in the warm, steamy wet and let the drip of humid dreams block out the silence.

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