Sometimes I shower in the dark. But these are not my darkest moments.
The bathroom is completely void of light. I feel for my soap bottles. They contain the substance that will clean the dirt off my body and the sickening pit of despair form inside my belly. I feel for them blindly knowing they are there and knowing I need them to finish my shower and stop being smelly. But I am also careful so as not to knock them over and disturb anyone else.
I am careful to keep my dark showers to myself. I do not desire to disturb the calm top of other people’s lakes with the loud thud of a dropped bottle as I attempt to cleanse my past from my body.
The water can be disorienting. It can be too hot to bare. I know I can turn the temperature but without light it is such a difficult task that I don’t even try. I let the hot water beat at my skin and even though I can’t see, I keep my eyes open. I have to.
I push through the darkness- I refuse to stop- and my hand finally reaches the target. Grasping the soap bottle, I start with my hair because methodically it makes most sense to start at the top. One step at a time they say. They say a lot of things to me. My health is failing and my body is frail because the taste of food is repulsing. My stomach is so full of dirt and memories that I can’t stomach even a crumb of anything edible.
My brain has stopped functioning because it is made of gears in a clock and a rock got so jammed in there that it threatened to stop. So I start with my hair. I lather the soap and start at the top. I will rid the nightmares.
I start to scrub and the very substance that is supposed to cleanse my body and fix my grimiest pieces floods into my eyes. It burns and I cry. Like I do every night. Like I do because of the fright that is instilled in my core from that dirt and those memories that keep me from eating.
In the day it is different.
In the day I smile a certain way. It’s similar to dousing myself in perfume on the forty-eighth hour without a shower.
Are you okay? Of course. I’m practically gay. Can’t you see by the way I display my positivity? I carry myself so that others don’t see that I need to be carried. I fake it until I make it but there are times in the shower in the pitch black night that is void of light that I try to dig deep and cleanse myself from the root and these are the times that I slip.