The spray is hot. The steam a silent infiltrator. I close my eyes for a minute and concentrate on the prickling of the water on my neck.
I open my eyes, everything looks too blue, and focus on the drops. The water forms in little droplets that feed on the mist and, as they descend through the invisible Plinko maze, cannibalize other drops, only to release a trail of mutant children behind it, as if it were afraid of getting too big or accelerating towards its inevitable destination.
The surface tension collects and I stare at them, trying to take them all in at once. Trying to become one with them. Or, well, I don’t have to try, I have to let it be. That’s not quite it, either. I have to let the Zen master take hold and just realize that it’s the truth, and the water drops are a mirror and I see me in every one of them, in the whole of them, in none of them, at the same time.
A sudden, distant noise jolts me back from the reverie and take in a hot, deep breath and exhale, thrust back to awful, bitter awareness. The water is hot. Too hot. But I need it. I need it to be solid, real, more than the ephemeral wisps of the billowing steam. The noise of the water rushing down at me, the water converging down the gullys of my body, irregular dancing tornadoes echoing down the drain.
Down the drain.
And that’s not quite all of it. But I sigh, wipe the steam, peek, and it’s 6:04. I’ve lusted, lingered, coveted the embrace too long. Too long. But it’s warm and it’s mine and it’s easy. I hate myself for my weakness. I tell myself I will not go, even as I drive there.
But the morning finds raised eyebrows and tight-lipped smiles, the mundane and inane broadcasted while I hide my disdain. Not well, I presume, quietly. Not now. Not the cafe trolls in a stomach wrenching PDOA. Not that one, either. So I nod and smile and say that everything’s okay. Because, for all you know, you got off. But you didn’t. That’s right, I judged you. And it’s guilty, as charged.