I remember as a child being able to put my head under the water and hear the vibrations through the water of each drip that came from the tap. And playing with the surface of the water. I could stay in the bath forever, playing with the vibrations, learning the feel of it across my skin.
I dreamt that my hair was seaweed or that I was a mermaid. Perhaps I was just and underwater explorer. I practiced holding my breath as if I were a budding pearl diver.
I drew pictures with soap-suds on my skin. Smiling, frowning, laughing, scared, transient pictures made of froth and imagination.
I read books and made up stories for myself as I lay there, dreaming of different worlds.
I tried to sit in the bath the other day, submerged deep enough to keep my chest warm. I had thoughts of lighting a candle and reading a book. Those romantic notions of slowing down and appreciating life.
Foolish notions, I found out. The bath that seemed so relaxing as a child, is simply too small for an adult. I can’t submerge my shoulders and feet at the same time. As I sat there, cursing the tub that seems more like a shower stall every day, and folding my legs into origami shapes to fit in the water, I realized that there’s no room to play timpani on the water’s surface and no way to play mermaid in a modern tub.
I closed my eyes and remembered instead.