Bathroom Elegy

Staring at the unrelenting forgiveness of the shower wall, I stumble into the regrets of the past. Each year ticks off the clock and goals fall underneath the wheels of graduate school and time, slowly slipping towards a reaper with few words and little sympathy. The wall is clean, yet the grout is stained. Dark dirt sleeps in the crack of the shower nozzle. It might hold redemption or just another ray of chlorinated water slipping down the drains of the world. The water circles backwards and forwards, unceasing. Its blues and greens match the eyes of the world's watchers.

Here I am, I think. Another day or week older, another step closer to some goal, another shadow of my former self. The mirror reflects a cracked visage, one a little rounder, a little more grizzled, perhaps, a little wiser. So much time is spent in the bathroom examining and reexamining, warbling long forgotten pop songs. Thinking, thinking, thinking, and more regret. It is here that honesty exists within each of us. There is no hiding, just an honest appraisal of the day just finished or the day to come. I try on different suits for the world. The world tries on different suits in me. All complex images of this nutcracker future, poised for television, posed for the spotlight of our feeble utterings.

I feel most at home under the complexities of the harsh, glaring fluorescent light, under the cockeyed spray of the shower nozzle that is invariably too short for my body. It burns and fizzles my summer farmer's tan and my chafed, grizzled face. But my thoughts remain undisturbed and real, somehow, beneath its gaze. I am truthful to the spiders in the corner, to the cracked bathroom mirror. I feel like this place knows me. I always feel more alone walking in the shadow of the morning sun not deflected by the misty, glossed-over windows of bathroom steam.


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