About two months ago, my alarm clock broke. In an overly dramatic fashion, the clock blared a moment of epic FM Radio static, then just froze. The digital green numbers of the exact time my clock died (12:20) are even still lit. I haven’t moved or gotten rid of the clock, because in my mind, if I stare at it long enough, it’ll remember it’s purpose in life and start working again. But for now, its sole purpose is to taunt me with false time (and to be there for me when I need something to yell at for being late).
I tell you that to tell you this: that clock has screwed up my subconscious. I mean it. Ever since then, my 5-6 hours of sleep turned into 2-3. I had a brief lapse of time when a certain Boyfriend visited where I slept like a log, but as soon as he was gone — BAM, back to square one. I’m pretty sure that when this clock gave up on keeping track of my sleep, so did my brain.
So, I stay up until 4am for no reason. Or, I don’t sleep at all. In that case, it’s like I binged on being awake and I feel all hung-over the next day. At that point, my brain just isn’t at optimal functioning levels, so I have these bizarre thought-versations with myself. Like staring at the coffeepot wondering when scientists will create a telepathic coffeemaker like in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and what that coffeepot would be sensing in my taste buds right now. Or debating between the pros and cons of using the white towel over the green towel. Or staring in the mirror and watching your eyes dilate for 23 minutes while humming a sizable portion of the soundtrack to “Little Shop of Horrors”.
And that’s when I realized that I don’t like taking showers. I actually came to this realization while waiting for the hot water to wake up (and while staring at my pupils dilate).
Okay so, remember how I just said that I don’t like showering? That’s because showering forces me to acknowledge my body and all of its flaws, and also because my shower is controlled by devilish wood elves who live in my ceiling and probably have a 24/7 heated slip-n-slide going for their friends and family across the building and out into the rain gutter because, let’s face it, that would pretty much be the coolest reason ever for not having hot water. And instead of blaming my landlord or the neighbor above me who always seems to conveniently flush his toilet while I’m in the shower, I just choose wood elves. I imagine that having water that is only marginally warmer than the temperature outside might not be a bad thing if I lived in Hawaii, but I don’t live in Hawaii. I live in New York. And I’m cold.
So basically, I wait until my spitefulness at the wood elves outweighs my aversion to showering, and then I walk into the bathroom and turn on the hot water. Then I go do something else while the hot water gets going – like try to telepathically communicate with my coffeemaker.
If I make the unfortunate mistake of taking my clothes off before I turn on the water, I will have to wrap a towel around myself and sit on the toilet lid shivering violently because I don’t want to go retrieve my clothes from the hallway where I left them because that would mean that I’d have to move the box I put in front of the door to act as a barricade in the event of an attack by the killer from the movie Psycho. I don’t want to let the killer from Psycho in if he’s already out there. Or any wood elves.
Once the hot water gets going, I always feel like I am very near to actually being able to get in the shower, but I’m wrong. I have to fiddle with the shower knobs until I get water that is not scalding but not prohibitively freezing to come out of the shower head. This is nearly impossible.
What usually ends up happening is that I spend five minutes hovering by the shower darting my hand through the stream of lava water to tap the cold water knob ever so gently. At first, I think I’ve hit the sweet spot because the water-temperature becomes bearable for approximately three seconds before plunging into what can only be described as liquid ice. Which should technically be just “water”, but I assure you, it is not. My shower reinvented chemistry. When the water gets cold, I realize that I have tapped the cold water knob too far – which is depressing because I don’t think I am capable of the motor control necessary to tap it any more gently.
Most of the time I just end up settling on whatever temperature would kill me the slowest.
I try to close the shower curtain because no matter how cold the water is, the ambient air temperature is always colder. Once inside my 4 x 4 square of a shower, I am reminded of the game “Operation.” Do you remember that game? It was the one that made you think you’d die if a surgeon ever touched the edge of your incision? The one that made you think your organs were just random pink blobs floating around in your body, waiting to be removed through any one of several gaping holes that magically appeared on your body for no reason? And somehow, you were lead to believe that if you successfully removed the heart, the spleen, the large intestine and the knee-cap, you win and the patient gets better even though in real life you’d probably be sued for malpractice and go to jail for manslaughter? Yeah, that game. But instead of getting buzzed at when I fail to stay within the boundaries I am provided, I get slimed by the nasty shower curtain.
While washing my hair, I almost always get some of it in my mouth and/or eyes. I try to close my mouth and eyes very tightly throughout the entire shampooing process, but invariably I am startled by something which I automatically assume is the killer from Psycho but is probably just the shower curtain and I gasp and open my eyes but the shampoo goes in my eyes and mouth, blinding me against my potential attacker.
So there I am, crouched in my battle stance, completely entangled in my nasty shower curtain, pawing at my eyes and drooling out soap suds, terrified that some fictional movie character from a movie is going to stab me. Right about then, I realize that I am just going to have to go through all of this again in a few days and suddenly life seems pointless and I don’t even know who I am anymore.
And that’s not even counting the part where I have to get out of the shower.
Getting out of the shower is also terrifying. One of these days, I am going to slip when I’m stepping out of my awkwardly small bathroom and hit my head on the towel shelf and then I’ll be found in a pool of my own blood and Lieutenant Horatio Cane from CSI: Miami will be like, “She used the green towel instead of the white towel … what a freak!”.
If I manage to exit the shower without accidentally ending my life in a pool of blood and embarrassment, I have to put on lotion. I don’t know what this particular lotion is made out of, but whatever it is, it is insoluble on skin. Try as I might, I cannot rub it in. I think it’s magical and infinite. I’ve been trying to use up this lotion for two and a half years now. I made the mistake of buying it in the summer of 2009 and it has outlasted my best attempts at getting rid of it so that I can justify spending money on new lotion. I use the lotion at every chance I get. Door squeaking? Coat the hinge with lotion. Out of dish soap? Maybe the lotion will work.
Once I have covered myself with way too much lotion because maybe that will use it up faster but probably it won’t, I have to wash the lotion off my hands so that I don’t get it in my hair.
My sink has two faucets: one of them makes lava water and the other one makes ice water. They are not willing to compromise. If I want to wash my hands, I have to turn both the faucets on and move my hands back and forth between them really fast before my nerves can pick up the sensation of burning or freezing. To make it worse, the lotion is even less soluble in water than it is on skin. I usually just end up getting the lotion all wet and then using huge amounts of toilet paper to wipe it off.
Running really fast on my tile kitchen floor to avoid getting your feet cold when your body is coated in super-lotion is probably not the smartest life-decision, but then again, neither is leaving your clothes out in the cold room when you go into the bathroom to take a shower.
How I am not dead yet is beyond me. Probably because the killer from Psycho can’t get past the moderately heavy box that I use to barricade my bathroom door.