The Bath

I am on my own for a few weeks and is often the case when I’m on my own, I go crazy. Tonight I ditched the shower and had a bath.  The bath in our house is primarily used in those two or three manic weeks when the kids are here and need dunking in more than cold water full of eels and duck wee. When I was a teenager we had both a bath and a shower but it is the bath that I loved the most – water up to the edge, hair floating around my face and the Top 20 blaring from the transistor radio on the vanity.  I no longer have that much hair and no-one’s taking me to San Francisco on the Top20 anymore but tonight I swished out the dust from the bottom of the bath, ran the hot water and chanelling ‘A Star is Born’ (Version 2), lit the candles. These particular candles have been adding ambience to the bathroom for about 8 years and had not been lit before. They obviously weren’t in the mood but two LONG matches later I got them going, chucked in a bath-ball thingy one of the kids had left behind at Christmas-time and went off to do the dishes. When I came back everything was looking good. Except the candles which were barely flickering. With romance-for-one out of the equation, I blew them out and moved on. By this time the water coming out of the tap was getting a bit cold and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to have both deep and hot, so I settled for hot, disrobed and got in – then immediately got out because my feet went bright red and screamed all on their own. I added cold and tried again. Perfect. But no, it wasn’t. Everyone knows there is no bath easier to clean than one you’ve just finished, so I got out and went to hunt for cleaning products returning with the Jiff and Mr Muscle Bathroom cleaner. (That may sound excessive but I was halfway through my 2nd bottle of Mr Muscle before I discovered Mr Muscle is only there in an advisory capacity with the aim of  preventing the build up of scum (or some much more pc word) and it’s Mrs Jiff who gets her little mitts out and does the deed.  He does smell good though.)  I sloshed back in then remembered the main reason I was having this bath was so I could give my feet a good scrub while they were warm and I’d forgotten the nail brush. Out I went again. Found the brush and caused an entry wave almost as high as the sides of the bath as I dropped back in. Which was when I felt something weird under my bum. It was the blue ball thing that I thought was supposed to dissolve. I fished it out and realized it was sealed in plastic and unlike the dishwasher tablets, this one wasn’t dissolving. There was no way I was getting out to find scissors so I  decide to bite a little hole in it and rip it apart. Blue fizzy stuff poured out and as I was spitting and wiping it away with the face-cloth I realized I still had my makeup on which was now creating impressing artistic swathes of Natural Brown on the recently bleached white facecloth. Not a good start but I brushed my feet, slathered my body with rose petal soap and slid back down into crocodile pose and waited to luxuriate. The bottom half of me was hot and the top half was dry and a bit cold and the only thing I could see were the vague outlines of two bottles of cleaning products because my glasses were on the vanity.  That was when 50 years of nostalgia went down the plug hole and I remembered all the times I was number 4 or even number 5 in the bath queue. How the scum floated to the surface and attached itself to the pink plastic bath like a high tide mark on the sand. I got out and took my clean feet all the way through to the living room where I sat on the couch and thought about whether I should have a shower now or in the morning because I’d forgotten to wash my hair.

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