A warm foot gently touched the cold oak planks. The big toe blindly tapped around, searching for the fuzzy slippers she kept beside the bed. Prize found, the day could begin. She lifted her head from the pillow, face puffy from sleep, blond strands defying gravity. Her companion had left quietly in the early hours without disturbing her. All that remained as she rose to stand was a rumpled duvet over creased sheets, topped with two cratered pillows. She shot a brief, longing glance at the mess and headed for the hallway.

Slender arms slid into plush periwinkle robe sleeves and reached for the doorknob in one fluid motion. She shuffled across the hall and reversed the action, hooking the robe on the back of the door as she pushed it closed. Each day began the same, the routine burned into her muscles through years of repetition. Fan on, window open, toilet used, towel placed on the counter; check, check, check, and check.

As she reached for the soap scum covered chrome levers to start the flow of water, she was struck with gratitude that there was only one small mirror in the room and it was at face height. In the winter, her people glow like florescent bulbs. Each summer they glow bright pink. She recognized that these were sights best left unseen.

Tiny porcelain squares stretched six feet up the surrounding walls as she stepped into the old scuffed bathtub. Originally white with sage green veining, the tiles had the perfect texture to appear cold and smooth, while quietly collecting layer after thin layer of dulling soap particles. A pink obtuse scalene decorated the basin near the drain, where the resurfacing film had pulled up. She had ceased all attempts to scrub it clean long ago, after realizing her efforts were only making it worse.

Chilly air slithered through the window, raising goosebumps. She welcomed the too hot drizzle that leaked anemically from the shower head. She had never noticed before how much this resembled a grave. Moist green walls, six feet deep, weak yellow light only halfheartedly reaching for the dank corners, it was creepy.

Even the shampoo and conditioner were green. How had she never noticed this before? It didn’t really matter. In ten minutes she’d be out of here, sipping coffee, hair wrapped in an over-sized fluffy towel. Shampoo in, shampoo out. Conditioner in. Her mind began to wander as she lathered up, the to-do list growing in her head. When she reached her prickly leg, she realized she wouldn’t be able to put off shaving for another day. Clearly she had already avoided that for too long. She let out a heavy sigh as she reached for a razor of uncertain age. One more thing to do. Why couldn’t women’s legs be naturally smooth and hair free, just like men imagined they were? Is there some evolutionary benefit to furry legs? If so, she couldn’t imagine what it might be.

Task completed, she returned the purple razor to the rack and was pleasantly surprised to notice that at least one thing in this dreary place wasn’t a sickly green color. With a faint smile she reached for the face-wash, also green. She always saved that for last because she liked to keep her eyes closed until she had a chance to blot the water off her face. When she didn’t, she invariably got irritated eyes from soap or wayward eyelashes. Almost done now, just a quick lather and rinse.

Then, without warning, the attacker reached out and grabbed her leg. She fought back, but was at a disadvantage, naked and wet, with a face full of soap. Her skin crawled under it’s clammy grip, her heart was pounding. She pushed and kicked but it wouldn’t retreat for more than a second. It felt like there was nothing solid to connect with, to fight against. Her mind raced, trying to come up with a strategy. There was no time for rational thought. She thrust her lathered face under the stream of water and simultaneously kicked out with her freshly shaved right leg. It silently crawled over her smooth skin. This was it. Do or die. She attacked in a frenzy, scratching and kicking and tearing for all she was worth.

Suddenly the sound of the running water echoed too loudly in the small bathroom. Her heart pounded. She was freshly showered, but felt thoroughly disgusting. Opening her eyes she took in the carnage. Half in and half out of the tub, sprawling limp and lifeless onto the water soaked floor was the vile scum that would torment her no more.

What a way to start the morning. She was definitely awake now. She toweled off and added to her mental to-do list. Clean the bathroom, replace the dim light bulb, and, of course, she was going to need a new shower curtain.

Author’s Note:
I hate shower curtains. Now you know why.  🙂

For those of you who do not suffer from this, please know that the struggle is real. The problem is that the extra hot air inside the shower (too hot water) loses out to the cool air outside the shower (chilly air moving through the open window) and eventually the curtain gives way and forces itself on the unsuspecting bather. My position is that shower doors should be the standard and curtains should be for windows only. Plus, they’re easier to keep clean!