Bath

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Like I always do, I fill the bathtub very full and very hot. It takes me a few minutes to ease into it. I step timidly in and out until my skin gets used to the temperature, and then I sink in up to my chin.

When I feel sad, I like to stay in the bathtub for hours, paging half-heartedly through a book or staring at my phone. Otherwise, it’s just an easy way for me to kill an hour. A shower feels too efficient. You can only be in a shower so long, but baths lend themselves to a little excess. I don’t like when water gets in my eyes.

The water slicks his hair back. Mine begins to curl.

He smells like sweat, the good kind. I step into the shower with him but I’m not naked; I’m wearing this silly, cheap black lacy thing I paid $19 for at a plasticky, fluorescent Frederick’s of Hollywood. I want him to kiss me, and he does. I wipe my mascara away before it runs down my cheeks.

Later, he tells me how sexy I am. The lace is in two pieces on the floor.

“Rasp, rasp, rasp,” says my heavy men’s razor as I drag it up and down my shins and thighs. I’m doing this absentmindedly, still hoping I don’t accidentally cut the shit out of myself while my mind wanders. I’ve been shaving my legs since I was 10. I know what I’m doing – or so I think, until a simple misstep has me bleeding all over the white rug. Luckily I know where my neighbors keep their bleach.

I don’t notice he’s following me until he’s there. He’s bending me over our old bathroom sink, as small as it is, and lifting up my little silk slip. He pulls my underwear down and lets them hang from one leg; he doesn’t have time to take them off completely, I guess.

He unzips his jeans and shoves two fingers into my mouth, then slicks me down with my own spit to enter me. He fucks me fast, almost like he hates me and wants to get it over with, which is strange. After it’s over, we are distant for awhile.

I used to drink red wine in the tub but I had to stop because I kept elbowing the glass off the side and making a mess of the walls and the floor. There were purply splatters everywhere like a glamorous crime scene. I’d get worried I’d accidentally drink too much and fall asleep in the tub and drown, even though that seemed a little far-fetched. I get a little paranoid and crazy living alone sometimes, thinking every little ailment might kill me and no one will notice til my neighbors say something about an unpleasant smell.

I don’t worry about being murdered, though, because the walls are so thin I can hear every phlegmy cough from up above me. Surely they’d hear me scream for help. They hear plenty of other noises from me.

I reveal all of these concerns to my razor as I work it along each limb. It replies in soothing, calming hums, but it’s focused on its task.

My whole body is shaved and exfoliated. Tomorrow, I’ll let a woman spray me down with a honey-colored tan to hide all the imperfections of my skin. The water has gotten murky; I guess I’m dirtier than I thought. TC mark

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