The Water Closet.
“Fuck him! Fuck him to death!” A girl covered in long, black, gauze, screamed through an empty hallway. Her wrists were bruised and her eyes were dark with mascara running to escape down her cheeks. She punched the door to her mom’s closet before looking up and realizing I was still standing with her in the empty house of her mothers.
“I’m sorry, let me just take a shower and I’ll feel better.” My friend of two weeks, appologized with a flat voice lingering through the hallway.
I watched her disappear into the bathroom with the antique bath tub that had claws built into the bottom of it and a shower nozzle connected to the back wall. Before enough time had passed, I heard her climb into the tub and turn the water on.
I knocked on the door to see if she was okay. No answer. I knocked again, a little louder this time.
“Come in.” She said in a voice that seemed to waver a little with the water.
I walked into the bathroom to find her crouched in the bathtub with all her clothes on and freezing cold water pouring down from the shower nozzle. Her hair hung in wet, messy, black, strands and her fists were clenched with rage and empty confusion. She looked up at me from her crouched position and started a slow, weak, smile across her face. She motioned her arms around the bath tub and looked up hopelessly to the shower nozzle.
“It’s the only thing that really works for an angry day.”
In high school I was at a party with a girl I had known briefly through other house parties and lunch at school. I pulled out a couple pills of ecstasy and gave one to ‘Rose’ so she could enjoy the night that was turning more and more magical by the minute. The boys were dancing to techno music in the kitchen and soon we were in the middle of it all, clutching the fake, white, fur collars we had wrapped around to protect us from winter. It was too hot to care anymore.
Rose and I felt our way to the bathroom so we could slow down for a minute. I fished out a strobe light from the other room and plugged it into the darkness. All we could see were flashes of each others faces and bodies as we sat side by side on the blinking bath tub.
“We should take a shower.” I giggled. “A strobe shower.”
“Yes!” She switched on the faucet until drops were like glitter, blinking from the strobe flashes every second.
We undressed, not caring about who knew we were in the bathroom or what we were going to say to each other at school the next morning. We danced to the music playing loudly in the kitchen and whipped our hair around to shake off the loose water glitter that fell around us.
Rose smiled, extending her arms to the faucet. “This is perfect.”
In a dingy house with sewage problems and hijacked morals, I slowly turn on the shower faucet and survey the status of our bath tub. The tub is slowly disappearing through the floorboards and it’s only a matter of weeks before I fear it will slip through completely to the dining room. I imagine myself naked and sprawled over the slightly moldy tub, trying to figure out why I was in the dining room with all the squatters who stayed downstairs for free.
I hop into the shower for approximately five minutes every day. I don’t want to touch the sides of the bath tub for fear of some sort of cakey dirt or bug rubbing against me. Two bottles of expensive shampoo with a perfumed scent sit slightly opened on the edge of the tub. They aren’t mine, I know they must be my roommates. She’s into hard drugs and lives in the same filth we do, but there is something always clean about her. Even if she won’t dare take a shower in the filthy bathroom, she always smells nice.
The bathroom door opens hurridly and slams with the same abrupt force. I peer out of the shower curtain to see my roommate eagerly pull out a dish of powder makeup and some eye liner from inside one of the cabinet drawers. With out hesitating to wonder why the shower was running in a supposedly empty bathroom, she brushed the powder on to her face quickly. I stop the shower faucet and grab a towel that is hanging on a metal rack.
“Jesus!” My roommate screams and spins around. “Christ! I didn’t know you were in here. I’ll get out.” She grabs her makeup from the sink counter and heads for the door.
“No, it’s okay… we’re only in the bathroom…” I try calling after her, but she has already disappeared, leaving only a scent of clean air to linger with the dirt.
A girl with brightly dyed hair sat almost completely hidden underwater in her bath tub. A window was built right in front of the shower which seemed odd considering she lived in the city. There was no escaping the window, no curtains, no place to hide, but no real care either. She sat with out bubbles and englufed with smoke that glided from her mentholated cigarettes.
She ashed off the side to nowhere particular. Her knees poked out from under the water as she asked me what I thought. Of what? Of her latest love affairs. Of going to college. Of what another girl had said to her just the other day. Of the hidden meanings and agendas of life outside the bathroom door.
I climbed into the tub with her, self conscious at first. Was my hair sticking to the side of my ears the way it does when it’s too wet to look good? When was the last time I shaved my legs? Did I bring my cigarettes up too?
“I just want to stay in the tub forever. Sometimes I really think I could….” Her eyes glazed over the window view of a city block with abandoned buildings and children riding bikes. “I’d just have someone else buy me some cigarettes from the store, I could be all set.”
“Let’s do it.” I said. “We could eat sandwiches in the tub.”
She smiled, making room for my legs to stretch out toward the window. “Perhaps we should.”