Long Shower

Adam loved the shower. It was so gentle and warmly refreshing, so very comfortable, so wonderful! How he wished it would never end.

He couldn’t stay there forever though; he had to get to work. But when he tried to turn off the water, the knob got stuck and wouldn’t budge. Water kept gushing forth. Maybe his hands were soapy and he needed a better grip. He rinsed them under the running water, and tried again, but still no luck. Damn! The washer must have broken; he’d better replace it.

He tried to get out but the door was stuck; it didn’t even jolt or shudder. Was it his new soap, jamming everything up? He should have known better than to get it on special offer from the gas station, at a dollar for twelve bars.

So the door was stuck and the shower was pouring. What to do? As long as the drain didn’t block, he could just stay there. There’s that saying about lemons and lemonade. Give it five more minutes, he thought, and something would loosen up for sure. Till then he may as well enjoy it. After five minutes he tried again, but the knob and door were both still stuck. Let’s wait another five minutes. He would be late for work, but what could he do?

Adam had been in the shower for fifteen minutes now – a pretty long stretch. His girlfriend took longer, especially when he was in there with her. He started to feel tired. He noticed his hands were wrinkled. He never knew why this happened; was a person’s skin expanding, or were they dehydrating? He looked at his feet, which were also wrinkled. The water spread across his skull like ants; poured off his ears and nose like a shoddy drain-leak; ran along his shoulders and arms like a river; then dripped like jewels from his fingers.

If he was dehydrating, he’d better drink some. He tilted back his head and opened his mouth wide. Let the water of life pour in. The water tickled his tongue initially, then his tonsils. It made him laugh and he gagged and spurted. He shook his head. What on earth was he doing? He was having the equivalent of water torture, and was grinning like a fool. But what else could he do?

Adam sat cross-legged with no option but to endure the torture. He covered his head with his hands for a while, but his arms became numb, and eventually dropped into his lap. Now it was water torture proper, with drops falling on his head continuously.

It wasn’t one drop at a time like Chinese Water Torture – where the irregular dripping drove you mad, like a Pavlovian dog – or the Medieval European version – where the dripping was regular, and you began to fear a hollow forming in your skull. He had thought it may feel like waterboarding – where a cloth is placed over your mouth and water poured onto it continuously, giving the feeling of drowning – or maybe Houdini’s water torture cell – where your feet are bound as you are lowered into a glass tank filled with water, from which you must escape. He knew that forced ingestion, or competitive drinking of too much water, led to water poisoning – liquid flooding cells by osmosis, causing them to swell and burst. Other watery ways to die were  dunking – typically used for witches, where they were immersed in a vat of water repeatedly until they drowned or confessed (in which case they were immolated) – or an alternative was to be left bound underwater; if you floated you were guilty, and if you sank you were innocent (but drowned). Not to forget Chinese water dungeons – where prisoners are kept neck-deep in filthy, stinking water for days, so their bodies fill with festering sores – or Dutch ones – where a cellar quickly fills with water and the victim is given a hand pump to try to save themselves – or the Nazi house of terror – where you stand on a metal stool in a cell filled with ice water, until you tire and fall into it.

Adam however was at home, enjoying a steaming shower. So all in all, his situation wasn’t that bad. He was however getting hungry. What could he eat? He noticed that all this steaming water was creating the beginnings of a jungle in the shower corners. It looked like green slime rather than shoots, but may be a relative of watercress, or seaweed; and it was good to eat your greens – full of iron. “And what would Sir like to order?” he asked himself. “Oh, the house greens today, I think.” “Very good Sir.”

He should engage in mental activity to keep his mind fresh, and started counting as many drops as he could manage. He reached 1,001 and decided that was enough. It may be better to use his fingers to draw pictures on the steamed-up panels. He drew a man in a box with squiggly streams running all around him.

He squirted a bottle of gel into the shower base, and was richly enrobed by mango and vanilla, “Mmmm.” Then he awakened to eucalyptus and tea tree, “Ooh.” Next he was intoxicated by chocolate mocha rum raisin butter candy, “Aah, that feels so good.”

The substantial slime build up offered another opportunity. He shaped it into a human figure. A companion. This wasn’t the end for him at all! He would make a new race of water people! They mated successfully, and just as their tiny amphibious offspring escaped down the drain, there was a pounding somewhere. “Escape, my children,” he cried. “Go quickly now! Before the monster comes!”

His girlfriend burst into the bathroom in her dressing gown. “How much time exactly, Mister, are you going to spend in the shower today? It’s getting longer every day. And I’ve told you before; don’t do that in there, it’s disgusting. It’s hardly going to make me change my mind. You’re way too strange for me; I can’t handle your bizarre fantasies. I know you said that no longer having sex was like torture for you – but you’ll have to deal with it.”

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