Your body feels like plastic, like something synthetic. You watch the water bead and fall down you, confirming your suspicions. You take the bar of soap between your hands and rub some suds from it, pushing yourself back into the jet until it’s running over your face. You scrub yourself with your bare hands, pausing between your legs, remembering your dream.
A whale with a giant tongue.
That must be my spirit animal, you think. That must be what it takes to clean me out.
You wonder where the feeling clean begins. You wonder if there is a place between pure and dirty. You remember how your dad called you a whore once and you forget that you’ve already forgiven him for that.
You tell yourself to stop. You tell yourself to let it go. You already talked to him about it, untied the knot it’s made inside you. You know for certain that it’s not even a true story, but a mish-mashing of several different events. It’s something fabricated, something made up for you to use. Something you use to make yourself feel angry, to be angry with the dirt you feel.
You breathe it out, shake it off. There’s a hole in the tub beneath you, and that’s where you stuff your anger, that’s where you try to send it because down there it’s dark. Down there is where death turns back into life, so maybe that’s where the ugliness of anger can turn into something clean. You remember Patience and step out of the shower, soaking up what your skin rejects with an extra large white towel.
“Would you like some toast?” you call out, projecting the sweetness inside you through the house. You step out of the bathroom. There’s no answer. In the kitchen you say his name.
You say it in the living room, say it on the stairs.
In the hallway, walking to your room, you say it twice. With your hand against the doorknob to your room, turning it the wrong way:
Turning the knob the other way. The door creeks. You poke your head a little ways through:
Maybe he decided to hide out in the basement. You sift through your clothes, choose jeans, choose the red sports bra, choose the black tee shirt and a blue sweater. You put your hair in pigtails, study your drawings on the wall.
You look over their forms and curves and they remind you of how soft you look, how soft you are. You stand there, fully dressed, feeling your clothes and your skin, your muscles and bones. Your body. You begin to crack your joints.
“Ama,” you say, thinking: Goddess. Thinking: Goddesses. You breath a few deep breaths and look over your list of things to do.
“Oh but Patience will buy me coffee and that’ll send me on my way.”
He doesn’t answer after you throw his name down the basement stairs. And the lights are off down there anyhow. He’s not a bat. He may be a little wicked, but he’s no vampire.
“Bastard,” but you smile. “Took off and didn’t even leave me a note.”
You make yourself toast and eggs and only after you’ve eaten and go to wash your plate do you find the note on the bridge between the two sinks.
You walk up to your room, stand against the door, staring at the carpet. It’s clean, but cluttered. Clothes and books, cd’s, pens and blankets scatter across it, but beneath these it’s clean. Your bed offers to help you obliterate the day for a little while. Your word processor screen is on, the amber letters arranged in neat rows of A Es See Double-I. You walk over to it, sitting down on the broken speakers you use as a make-shift chair. You read over the paragraphs until your eyes reach the flashing cursor.
You know there’s something inside you that needs to be written and you know this isn’t it. You save the file under a silly name, clear the screen, and begin.