She stands in the shower longer than she intends. The spray lightly massaging her neck. Thoughts prickle her skin despite the warm steam enveloping her body. With effort, she narrows her awareness until she isolates the source of her temporary skin condition.
It’s a feeling squeezing in on her from beneath her consciousness, trailing with it a sense of doom like a wild and tailless kite whipping about at the leading edge of a tempest. Change is on the wind, something’s coming.
“What if today is the last day of my life, as I know it? At least, in the way I regard it as normal, familiar, even predictable?” she thinks.
“What will I do? How would I spend these next hours?” she asks herself. The question she poses seems comically lame compared to the backdrop of normalcy surrounding her, the shower spray tickling her butt.
“Shit,” she thinks. “I’ve heard and spun this philosophical drivel more times than I care to admit and never, never does it catapult me toward permanent re-evaluation or recalibration of my sleepy complacency. Not for long, anyway. Eventually, I will fall back into my self-satisfied slumber, however short sighted it may be. A philosophical narcoleptic, that’s what I am,” she decides, ruefully.
Regarding herself with brutally honest introspection, she shifts her focus and wonders, “Why am I feeling such a jarring sensation today, on such an ordinary day?”
“What chance vibrations or cross-contamination of purpose and life force is infiltrating my steady march into oblivion?” she queries from inside her mind.
The water strikes her with increasingly cooler droplets, and takes up the cause for the chills presently creeping across her skin.
She wills herself back to the present and outward moment where most people, including her, must live.
“How long have I been in here?” she wonders.
Standing beneath the chilly spray, she reaches for the shower diverter in the center of the wall, slides it decisively downward and the water immediately ceases.
She’s comforted by this tiny bud of illusory control over the elements, even if only by extension and convenience.
She lifts her glistening leg upward and aims her body and all it’s weight and intention towards stepping out and over the bathtub’s edge. Absently, she extends her right arm toward the towel over the rack to swipe it free on her way toward the vanity. A familiar bathroom ballet she has performed many times with near mindless accuracy.
Still lost in her thoughts, unable to shake the feeling of impending disaster, her heel catches a spot of water on the tile floor at just the wrong angle and she begins sliding helplessly toward her fate.
Time protracts itself.
“Crack,” is the sound made when the average head, her head, with little impediment to velocity, meets the tile floor, thus ending any internal machinations that were previously engaging her mind.
One instant, now followed by the invisible rippling of sound waves fanning out towards the walls and ceiling then coming to rest in silence as her whole body settles on the floor with a final thud.
“Strange, I’d always anticipated this with fear, equating it with pain, absence or loss of the physical nature.” She’s aware of her thoughts, but in a vague, detached way and she imagines them as a translucent plume of dust over her head.
Opening her eyes, she sees a nude woman lying in Pick-Up Sticks fashion on the bathroom floor. There is blood pooling at her head. The angle of perspective momentarily confuses reality. Finally, she realizes she is looking down at her own body.
S Lynn Knight 2016