Once a week, I shower alone. Porn stars aren’t seen naked as often as I am. When I shower with my small guest, I am either holding her or, she is sitting in between my feet, frozen in the official hopscotch placement of 3, 4 to make room for her small, yet everywhere, body. I lather my hair next to the shower wall perfecting the look of Quasimodo, head on shoulder, one eye open – keeping faithful watch over my splashing companion; allowing the soap to slowly migrate down fiberglass to avoid the risk of burning her delicate corneas. This process moves like molasses or a wagon on the Oregon Trail weighed down by too many sacks of flour and Cholera.
While posing in perpetual Awkward Facing Dog, I slowly crouch, like a cave woman, in a position that screams, “I have made FIRE!”; soap in eyes, I blindly search for my washcloth. I consider my choices of body wash. I could use something fragrant with scrubbing beads that smell of empty promises to replenish and restore my skin currently serving a life sentence of dryness without possibility of parole. Instead, I grab the 3-in-1, no tears baby wash knowing that the best hope of completing this shower with moderate success is to allow my limbs to serve as soap sprayers and the vinyl mop strips found at the local car wash. My soapy seconds are recycled onto the hair, face and body of the uninvited guest at my cleanliness cotillion.
This is your shower on drugs.
On Sundays, I shower solo. On Sundays, while the world is praising their God or wearing foam fingers in celebration of their preferred suited victors, I am searching for any excuse, short of shaving, to stand for just two more minutes, completely alone, upright and perfectly still under water that has not been heat checked and rechecked for baby level Defcon-5 temperature appropriateness.
Then, something happens. Guilt creeps in like a guilt-mongering guilt-o-meter measuring my guilt at an all time high. Because, when your time is never your own, having a moment alone feels odd. And, tucked inside the happiness of having it, I start to plant and water that small seed of questioning in my core. Do I deserve this time? When, just downstairs, children are hungry and crying and asking and asking and asking, should I give this up too? For the greater good or to administer the perfect crust removal?
On Sundays, in the chaos of preparing for a new week, I find peace, restoration and humanity in my 15 minutes of watery solitude. My church of the Lady of the Indoor Plumbing and her patron Saint of Ives.
And, a choir of Dove soap sings Hallelujah.