Yay!

Plip, plip, plip, the wet yellow pouf dangling from the faucet handle dripped into the steaming tub. She wiggled her protruding toes, leaned back, submerged her head, ears filling with soapy water. She splooshed upright and sipped the hot, cinnamon tea, carefully picked up her book, and sank down in the soothing bath to read. It had become an almost daily ritual, indulgent self-care, why not? She adds more hot water, adjusting the faucet with her foot until it’s just under scalding. The heat feels cleansing like she’s bathing away toxins from within.

She reads until she completes the chapter and washes her hair before she prunes. She rinses her hair with a tall clear plastic cup that has bevels to mimic crystal. She is satisfied every time she uses it recalling how she initially chose a plain plastic teal cup, then she found the faux crystal one which was less than a dollar more. Her overly long hair must be wrung out several times before she towels off while still in the empty tub careful not to drip water everywhere. She hates it when the bathmat gets too saturated and she steps on the cold wetness later. She’s taken to perching it over the tub edge between uses to dry though she is not the soggy mat making culprit. Thankfully her spouse has followed suit without prompting. She laughs to herself impressed with how times have changed.

The bath leaves her overheated and weak-kneed, but she manages as she folds over and wraps her hair in the towel to form a turban as she stands straight, twisting and tucking it in place. She gathers her favorite monogrammed teacup (it’s one of the first things she purchased in a thrift store after moving states) and book, puts them on the counter so she doesn’t forget them. Then retrieves the caddy of potions from the bathroom closet. She leaves the double doors slightly ajar to avoid the loud abrupt noise of opening and closing. She pauses and tries not to criticize the old woman she sees in the mirror. She resolves to think loving thoughts, to thank her body for bringing her this far. Then she sits on the edge of the tub and puts the lotion on its skin. Then she dresses, her clothing sticks in the extra lotiony spots and removes the turban before it leaves imprints on her forehead. Wump her hair splats against her back, still dripping she dries the ends with the now weighty towel.

She’s so hot, she takes a rest on the futon to cool off. When the moisture has evaporated and cooled her face she returns to the caddy and applies her facial potions. She experiments with economical cruelty-free natural concoctions. She used to spend loads more on beauty products in her twenties and thirties when she didn’t need it, so ironic, she was suckered in. She often wonders how much nicer it would have been to spend that money on other things, like adventures, or if she’d saved it. Oh well, lesson learned.

She flosses and brushes maybe clips the talons if needed. Swipes the pits with vanilla and lemon stop the stink stuff, clutches all of her dirty clothes, mug, book and a pair of socks, turns the vent, and light off with her elbow on her way out, then throws the clothes in the washer. Places the mug on the kitchen counter, clink then sinks into the futon, throws the book on the stack of others on the floor, bonk scoops up the jar of homemade coconut oil with vanilla, then slathers and socks her feet. She slumps back into the pillows sinking deeply into the plushness feeling warm and comforted, shiny, and clean.

Divine luxury, book, tea, and a steamy bath, pure heaven. She gives thanks during every bath. She recalls the desperate years of rushing, showering frantically to save time. Not anymore, it’s a miracle. She doesn’t ever want to take it for granted.

Then she decides what’s next after her refreshing, rejuvenating bath, she feels like fresh, crisp, sun-dried sheets from a Downy commercial, all sparkling in a sunkissed meadow. She can hear the birds tweeting, as the clouds breeze by while she inhales, with a big toothy smile and spins around, arms flung wide. Whee, I am frisky and free. The next moment she comes to and gets to it…the what’s next part. It’s such a privilege to be able to choose she realizes, she feels so fortunate and it wells up from her heart and she grins, her eyes glistening. All she can think is, “Yay!”

Michelle Miyagi
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