or why i face the faucet when i bathe
(flashback: inside pamie’s brain. Fifteen years old)
(setting: pamie’s bathroom)
Okay, you know what? I can’t remember the last time I took a bath. I think that’s what I’ll do. It’s been a while and I just got this new book and it’ll be real nice to just sit back and have a nice bath.
Maybe I should cut my hair. I think I’d like it more if it was blonder. Maybe I’ll bleach it.
That water is nice and deep. I wish I was still small enough to swim in the tub.
Oooh, the bath is nice and hot. I’m like Bugs Bunny getting in the big pot for all of those bad guys to eat. “Ah! Ah! Ah! Ahhhhh…”
This book is lame. I’ll just soap up. Soap. Soap. Soap. Soap. I wonder if Tara is going to call me back tonight. She said she would, but she always ends up talking to Justin all night and then she forgets to call me or she calls me after nine and then I get in trouble. She never remembers not to call me after nine.
You’re the greatest gift to my hair.
I really notice when you aren’t there.
Because you’re my SHAMPOO!
Ow. Just hit my head on the faucet. Gotta remember not to hit it when I bring my head back up after I rinse my hair.
I’m getting taller. Look how now I can lay down in the tub to rinse my hair and I have to put my feet on the wall on the other side. Rinse. Rinse. Rinse. Hmmmmm. Hummmmmm. Ooh, that sounds neat underwater. Hummmmmm. Hum… SHAMPOO!
I can’t believe that Brent doesn’t know I exist. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to a girl ever. You know, I guess it’s better that he doesn’t know I exist. If he did, then I’d know that he wasn’t with me out of choice, and not out of ignorance.
I wonder when they’re going to put “21 Jump Street” on syndicate. I missed the first few episodes.
Okay, time to get up. Don’t hit my head on the– Hey.. Hey, wait a minute… I… why can’t I move? WHY CAN’T I MOVE? I’M STUCK! I’M STUCK! OH, MY GOD! I’M STUCK IN THE TUB! I’M STUCK! I’M STUCK!
Okay, calm down. Figure out what’s going on, there’s probably a good explanation. Ow. Ow. Ow. My head. Ow. What the…? My hair! MY HAIR! MY HAIR IS CAUGHT IN THE DRAIN! Wait, I’ll just unplug the drain, and my hair will be free. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. OMIGOD! It’s not caught in the bottom drain, it’s caught in the thingy that makes sure the water doesn’t go too high! How deep could my hair be stuck in this thing?
I’ll just pull real hard and tear a few hairs. No big deal. OW! SHIT! It’s really stuck in there. It’s like a whole chunk or something. I wish I could see it. I’m just stuck here.
Oh, gosh. I could drown in here. Whenever I stop straining my neck my head is going to go under the water and I’ll drown. I’m going to die in here. No, I can hear my hair going further in the drain thing! It’s still sucking up the water and as it sucks up the water it’s pulling in more of my hair! Oh, dear! What am I going to do?
Maybe I’ll make the water lower than the drain. I’ll just push my feet against this wall and arch my back up and push on the wall with my hands and just hold myself above the water.
Okay, here I am above the water. It’s cold. I’m cold. I’m very cold. And now what am I supposed to do? I can’t move. I don’t think I can hold this much longer, I– woah!
Oh God! Oh, God! I slipped and fell and I just hit my elbow really fucking hard on the bottom of the tub and water got in my nose and I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.
OW OW OW! I can’t see! My eyes are all burning and stinging! Oh, God! I’m being killed by my bathtub!
Did I lock the bathroom door? Mom will kill me if she finds out I locked the bathroom door. Oh, I’m going to be so grounded. What am I going to do?
Water evaporates, right? How long do you think it will take for the bath to just evaporate?
OW! It’s still pulling my hair!
Okay, it’s time to call in Mom. But I can’t have her see me like this– I’m naked! I’m just starting to be a woman. She’ll tease me. It’ll be horrible. How do I get Mom in here without her seeing me? There’s a towel… can’t… reach… fuck!
Oh, this is horrible. I’m wet and naked and the tub is trying to suck me in the drain. Just suck me in to where the bugs and roaches are in the sewer. And the alligators. I could just get sucked right in like a Stephen King book and–
“MOM! MOMMY! MOM! MOM!”
Okay, she’s going to come running in any minute. Any second. Just real soon–
“MOM! MOMMY! MOMMMMMMMY! MOM! MOM!”
The shower curtain! I’ll wrap myself up in the shower curtain, and then she won’t be able to see me! Brilliant!
“Jesus, Pamela! What’s the matter? What’s wrong?”
“I’m stuck! I’m stuck! I’M STUCK!”
“The drain has my hair! The drain has my hair!”
“Okay, let me see. Move your hands, let me see.”
“Don’t look at me! DON’T LOOK AT ME!”
“Well, I have to look at your hair.”
“Don’t look down!”
“Pamela, you don’t have anything I haven’t seen before. I used to change your diapers.”
“Well, that was a long time ago.”
“Are you shy about your boobies?”
“Can we just DO THE HAIR THING, PLEASE?”
“Oh, wow. It really took your hair down, didn’t it?”
“I can’t see anything! My neck hurts. I can’t see.”
“Let me get the shampoo out of your eye, okay? There. Is that better?”
“Yeah. Now, I’m going to go get the scissors.”
“DON’T LEAVE ME, MOMMY! I’LL GET SUCKED IN MORE!”
“You need to calm down. Here. Your sister brought the scissors. Thank you.”
“Hurry, hurry, HURRY!”
“Okay, I need to see. Wow. That’s a lot of hair!”
“Hurry, Mommy, please!”
“Okay. There. There. I cut it all out. Sit up.”
“Oh, thank you, Mommy. Thank you.”
“Okay. It’s okay now. Scared you a little, huh?”
“Okay, it’s okay. You don’t have to cry anymore. You’re okay now. You’re okay. Okay. Let’s keep hugging after you dry off, okay? I’m getting all wet.”
“You done with your bath?”
“Yeah, I guess so. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Fix the shower curtain, okay?”
“Yeah, just a little scary, that’s all.”
“Did you think the drain was trying to kill you?”
“No? You didn’t think it was trying to suck your hair in like a Stephen King story?”
“I would have. Pretty creepy. I’ve never seen hair get pulled in like that.”
“I’m just saying.”
“Get dressed. I’ll make you some tea.”
(flash forward. now. pamie’s brain.)
I really miss my mommy.
“Still take baths?”
Austinites! Central Texas Journallers! Are you interested in getting together to meet and read? Don’t let all the New Yorkers have all the fun. Contact Jette.
Austinites! Central Texas Theatre-goers! Are you interested in catching my one-woman show again? Did you miss it the first time? Well, you can see it again at MoMFEST September 27th and 28th at the Vortex theatre.
That’s it for the bulletin board.