On bath-ing

Doesn’t start with the hot water. Starts with the idea, the plan, the thought like the taste of liquor on your tongue, around four o’clock. Maybe earlier, much earlier, in the shower even, of that very same day.  It’s there, like the promise of a call from a lover, waiting for you. Only this you can follow through with on your own.

You get home, you do your chores – take out the garbage, feed the Newman, separate the bills from the magazines. You work if you must, you flop in your red La-z-boy and watch Project Runway, and eschew dessert knowing something better’s waiting for you. Finally, the show ends. You can resist your courtship with the tub no longer.

You walk by, give it a long look. Approach it, come close. Reach out. Turn it on. Make it so hot your body blushes. Add whatever you need, salt, oil, cream. Don’t let it run over to the pile of magazines behind you, though once you’re inside, it will, inevitably.

Pour a glass of proseco or ice cold water. Approach. Disrobe. Descend.

Deeper is better, obviously, but in a pinch, a cheap shorty motel tub will do.

Once in the water, like a bad marriage between Lady Brett Ashley and Brick, feel that click, let your hands stop shaking as the very folds of the amygdala relax and uncrinkle. Nothing comes to sharp focus; the hot water seeps the day out of you. Seeps the you out of you. Weightless, you become.

Sink lower. Let the bubbles into your nose. Lean your head back – against the porcelain or into the water even — become that chick from “Fringe” or William Hurt from “Altered States.”

For under and in water, even though naked, you have left your body and this corporeal world, and in the water you are your seventeen-year-old self and your present self and the person you still hope to become and no one – all at once – it’s not another Monday where another icon has died – you are not for the moment in sinking financial shape. You are, for those still bubblicious moments, alone in exactly the right way.

After twenty minutes, tell the stopper hello with your toe, let the water drop. The drain gulps, ever-thirsty. Climb out and lay on the cool tile floor, as your core temp balances back with the living. Snooze or stagger to bed and hope your eyes stay shut til dawn, til the new day, and the next bath on the horizon.

8 responses to “On bath-ing”

  1. Annie says:

    Love this. You give the familiar ritual its due.

  2. LP says:

    I wish someone would invent a waterproof magazine, for tub reading. Also, a waterproof laptop that wouldn’t electrocute me if I dropped it in the tub while reading the Great Whatsit. If only Sarah Palin lived near an electrical substation, she would be an expert on electricity and could invent one. That would be cool.

  3. Marleyfan says:

    Bathing is for girls. Showers are manly. But I guess they are both fun with someone else…

  4. LT says:

    i love a bath. and the korean spa.

    ever been in a deprivation tank? even better…

  5. autumn says:

    ah, just lovely. Add generously of Epsom Salt and Hydrogen Peroxide and call it heaven.

  6. Kate the Great says:

    I don’t love baths. I don’t even like baths. But I love the language you use. Languid. Floating. Harmonious.

  7. PB says:

    like a bad marriage between Lady Brett Ashley and Brick, feel that click

    brilliant.

    Is it pretentious to say I only like baths in Japan.
    Yes?
    so be it.

  8. swells says:

    i had every intention of taking your direction tonight and following these instructions to the letter (except skipping project runway). it’s too late now and i have too much schoolwork, but this assignment will not go unfinished this week.