A piece of realistic non-fiction--who am I kidding?--this is my life. Love it. Hate it. Mostly love it.
She knew what her life amounted to as soon as she pulled back that damp shower curtain.
Sometimes the mundane is purely the mundane. And sometimes, when the morning light hits it just right, when you can smell the freshly rain-dampened earth through the cracked window, when you’re feeling a little bent out of shape about that argument you had with your husband last night—sometimes everything feels saturated. Saturated with color and noise and meaning.
Where she once saw mold creeping its red veins across the shower curtain, she now sees time--endless, wasted, passing, demanding.
She sees the remains of last night’s bath. The murky, sandy water, never drained, forgotten, leaving its own mark. The plug pulled, the water drains away, revealing brownish rings, keeping track, telling a story, like the rings of a tree.
The sand and sediment settling as the last of the water swirls down the drain, stuck in Mermaid Dora’s long tresses, sitting at the bottom of teacups, rough against her feet as she enters the shower. A reminder of yesterday’s joy and messiness, of the exact moment when she had Enough with The Sand Throwing and The Whining, when she exploded, marching her children to the bathroom for a ritual cleansing—theirs and hers.
A deciding moment. Yesterday behind her, the day before her. What will this moment hold? The wash cloth disguised as a hippo hand puppet, the rubber ducks (indeed, there are several), the cups and spoons, the squirty submarine and sea creatures—a veritable war zone of toddler bathing paraphernalia.
She steps on a lone dragon wing, cursing its existence, its randomness, its (clearly) aggressive role in her otherwise peaceful morning. What did I ever do to you, Dragon Wing?!
And then the definitive question arises, as she begins her day—planning, pacing, envisioning, ignoring the muffled voices of her children from behind the bathroom door: Do I bother to pick this up? Or do I just let it be?
By now, her loofah lathered, she’s well on her way.