Squeaky Clean

by spaghettipirate

I’ve met time and time again with my woud-be friend

exhaustion

but no matter how many hours I sleep away

exhaustion doggedly will not relent, seeping into every bone and joint so that even as I wake up blinking

from the light filtering through the blinds and the dust particles dancing erratic dances in suspended air all I really want to do is pull the covers up over my head and pretend that it actually isn’t already almost noon and I don’t actually have somewhere to be.

I’m not one much for coffee – it stains the teeth and I’ve heard too many horror stories of coffee addicts and their splitting head aches, snapping at everyone and everything until they get their daily fix –

so instead I haul myself up and out of bed downing a glass of milk and steeling myself for whatever the day may bring.

But by week’s end, every limb feels heavy and tired, and there is nothing more wonderful and underrated as a hot bath.

And I mean the sort of hot lose-yourself-for-twenty-minutes-maybe-thirty-soaking-until-your-fingers-feel-pruney-and-all-of-the-days-exhaustion-seeps-out-of-you-and-down-the-drain sort of bath.

Baths where you sit until the water runs cold and there is something pumping – you can’t really hear who or what’s playing – softly from the speakers where it crashes against the door and all you can think about is how nice dinner is going to be after this.

Baths: they’re not just for little kids anymore.

And what makes it all the nicer is that here in Europe there are the bathtubs that let you fill up to the brim, and long enough so that you’re not doubled over in a teensy space.

Scrub every inch of skin until its red and maybe just a little bit raw, relish in the sensation of scrubbing the shampoo through your tresses and under your finger nails as the stress eases out of you and it’s like a second breath of energy and life.

Dinner may be happily crackling away on the stove, but for now all that matters is that the water is warm and that there isn’t soap in your eyes.

It’s the first feeling of the water that may be a little too hot, and carefully as it’s a slippery tub, of a fluffy towel to wrap in after the bath, and of laboriously combing out the strands of hair so that in the morning your hair is soft and sleek.

The best are the bubble baths; chemically crafted artifical scents of grape sometimes, of bubble beards and little bubbles clinging to your hair and you feel like your five years old again and all that’s missing the yellow rubber duck.

I relish my weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) bath time after a particularly grueling day or long fencing practice, and I encourage all those who don’t know what it is to whittle away time in the tub to try it once because suddenly the sun is a little brighter, the sky a little bluer –

and going out for the weekend doesn’t seem like such a hassle. It’s the time to pamper yourself and clean under, file, and pain fingernails, to smooth lotion over ashen skin, and put on the softest still laundry scented pair of pyjamas.

Days blend into weeks and weeks into months so that sometimes I forget that it’s the end of February, because I’m on vacation time and I’ve time enough for

a

long

hot

bath.

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