Thursday, August 19, 2010

Getting clean

Had to take last week off, but we're back on track with The Red Writing Hood this week.  Today the assignment is "writing a first-person piece about [...] taking a shower - without using a personal pronoun." Egads, thought I.  The personal pronoun is the blogger's BFF! What is one to do?  Sit down of an evening, and bash out her best effort, that's what one is to do.  Here ya go peeps - Description.

Getting Clean

Cranking the hot water faucet with an impatient twist of the wrist.  Stupid plumbing.  Stupid old house.  Stripping the sweaty running shirt off, then the sports bra, the shorts, the rank socks, the grimy shoes.  Gotta get new running shoes.  Sigh.

Tweaking the cold water, just an eigth-inch: hard lessons have taught that otherwise it turns more refreshing than God or a health teacher ever intended.  Hopping in, over the 42 cups stacked just so, the firefighter rubber duck, the sandpail making a mysterious appearance in the tub.  Eyeing the old fiberglass shower stall, irritated.  Stupid bathroom.  Stupid old ugly bathroom.

Eyes to the ceiling, water streaming through eyelashes, eyelids shut tight.  Too tight.  Shutting out the noise from Elmo downstairs, the banging washing machine - that can NOT be right - the weeping of a toddler on the steps.  Shutting out thoughts of calls to be made, appointments to be kept, bills to be paid.

With eyes shut tight the tan fiberglass tub and its raised sunray pattern disappears.  With eyes shut tight the Costco-sized shampoo becomes the fancy volume building 'product' that once made a difference, the Cetaphil becomes the facial scrub that used to be ritually applied with a 2" square of muslin, the body wash doesn't have a disturbing scent of Berry Blast or a cap designed as a dolphin mutant.

With eyes shut tight there is no self.  No aging skin to be examined, no belly pudge to be avoided, no piercing scars to sigh over.  There is a human, a sweaty naked real human in the middle of streams of water, forgetting self.  Forgetting for six minutes that she is anything but body, water,  more body, more water.

That, that, is getting clean.


Emily@remodelingthislife said...


Veronica said...

Loved your piece. I loved the description of the water and your thoughts about what was going on around you.

This challenge was difficult. I really had to think about it and revise and go through with a fine tooth comb. Personal pronouns are hard to do without!!

rebecca said...

I loved that last paragraph. The post was engaging and entertaining but this right here:

"There is a human, a sweaty naked real human in the middle of streams of water, forgetting self. Forgetting for six minutes that she is anything but body, water, more body, more water,"

is gorgeous writing in its truth.

I'm a newbie at the site and I couldn't think of anything personal and so did a fictional take on it....

Cheryl said...

SO glad you're back! Love this, especially the ending. You might be surprised (ha!) that I also wrote about the post-run shower..

Kerri said...

So Beautiful. Writing with out pronouns was a challenge but I really love what it makes the writings do. It takes a different form almost, makes you feel a deeper connection, at least that's what I see is happening with me as I read them all.

katdish said...

This was great. As far as all the kid stuff everywhere, hang in there. Soon that will be a distant memory and you'll be dealing with angst filled teenagers.

I had to smile while reading this because I often find myself saying, "Stupid everything."

Ashley said...

This is great! I have a feeling all of us who wrote about taking showers have similiar themes. Lol. Loved it!

Nancy C said...

I love it as well. I can relate, being that I lose my hearing for toddler nonsense whenever I enter the shower.

I adore the paragraph where you compare the pre and post Mommy products. It says so much in so few words.

Ash said...

I love the reminiscing of the products that used to be. Oh how I MISS those fancy, indulgent things.

I once caught my youngest making a "mix" with my Aveda shampoo and conditioner. Yeah. I did cry.

You did very well. I've been so impressed by the whole gang today.

Jessica Anne said...

Just lovely. I was nodding in agreement when you described all the tub toys and demanding small people. Really well done.

Missy @ Wonder, Friend said...

There's no way to say this without it sounding very creepy and voyeuristic, but I feel like I can see your bathroom, and the tub filled with toys. Great work!

Heather of the EO said...

That was just so freaking good. You are a writer's writer, lady. Keep on keepin' on.

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