by Tamara Anna Pawlak
Photo by Christopher Campbell/Unsplash
Maybe number 8 was the answer. Maybe if she plugged the drain and let the water fill the tub, it would do the trick...
Nothing brought more comfort than a steamy shower.
On days she felt troubled, upset, confused—a blast of hot water was all it took to wash her troubles away. The longer she stood beneath the spray—the heavier the steam hung in the air—the better.
Her apartment was underwhelming at best. The smell of cat urine filtered from the neighboring apartment through the air vent. Her garbage disposal stopped working 2 months ago—the leasing office said they were backed up on maintenance calls. Fleas from the previous tenant still lived in her carpet. But the size of her water heater made it all worthwhile. She could take a 45-minute shower without losing heat. It may have been one of those instant hot water units. It certainly was the reason why she continued to pay rent.
On really bad days, 5 showers would do the trick. Like a drug fiend in the bathroom, she chased that dizzy feeling in the suffocating heat. No thoughts in her head—only her heart beating in her chest like an angry landlord.
6 was her old record—but after the 7th shower that day, she didn’t feel better. Maybe number 8 was the answer. Maybe if she plugged the drain and let the water fill the tub, it would do the trick.
She stepped beneath the stream of water—and when it rose to her ankles—sat in the rising pool and let the water coax her back and flood her face. The 8th one did the trick alright. She never needed another shower again.
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