I seem to have my best metaphysical conversations in the shower.

Too bad no one's around to hear them.

I pull aside the curtain and turn on the water. Switch the dial to hot, hotter, boiling. Why does the faucet always switch from hot to cold since I've last used the shower? Who comes in and switches the temperature? Gnomes? God?

Pull the catch on the faucet so the water comes from the shower nozzle. Remove clothing. Turn on the fan. Turn off the lights. Close the door.

Why do I shower in the dark? Good question. I've been doing it for years, in at least four different showers. First time, like the first time I had sex, was unintentional: the power went out, and there I was, warm water running down my body, suddenly blind and in a whole new world, soap running down long hair into my now superfluous eyes.

I guess there's some womb aspect of it. Maybe I'd like to train myself just in case I should be struck blind, found suddenly vacated of the sense I take so very much for granted. Test the water's temperature. Enter on side opposite from water. Get bearings. Find shampoo. I only need a little nowadays, the result of a time when I just couldn't take long hair anymore, couldn't take the beard, couldn't take -- not so much my mother's, but my sister's -- snide comments anymore, and then there was the heartbreak factor where I was suddenly torn in two and had to do something to reinvent myself.

Lather. Rinse. Repent. How does the universe work? Do we call it infinite just because we can't see the end? I can't see the end of the shower right now, I can't perceive with any of my senses the toilet that's six feet away... does that mean it isn't there? What if it isn't? Remember when you were a kid and thought that the world ended where you didn't see it any longer? Was I ever that naive? Am I still?

Conditioner. Just a dab. It smells like dryer sheets. Man, I love that.

Wash it out. Wash it all out, then grab the soap. Rub in the hands and work the lather into every crevice you can. This is a soul cleansing. When the body is free of debris, the mind is free to explore new boundries and God shines into us all. Or does God even care? Is God a celestial engineer and all of us mere unknowing cogs in a machine of which we have no hope of comprehending the purpose?

Wash off the soap, scrub out the armpits. Or perhaps God cares very much, speaks to us every day. Maybe we don't hear. Or we don't know how to listen. Maybe if we knew how to listen to God, there'd be no death. Maybe that's why death is so painful. Maybe we're meant to pursue pleasure, and pain is a trigger to show when we're doing something wrong. Maybe we're not supposed to die. Or maybe we're all just doing it wrong.

Stand under the nozzle, water pounding onto eyelids. Sing sing sing to yourself and the neighbors "Infinity bottles of beer on the wall, infinity bottles of beer..."

Repeat until dead.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

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