As she’s getting out of the shower and I’m getting in, she says to me:
It’s getting weird in there.
She doesn’t need to elaborate, nor does she care to.
I know what she means though—
this waterproof pad where I scrawl
with a pencil that says: No more good ideas down the drain.
Something about the falling water,
the wet bulb temperatures,
the liquid ambiance,
the vulnerability of being naked with soap in your eyes,
like a steamy ersatz depravation chamber, the shower
for the writer—this writer—
unmutes the contained multitudes.
I let them speak freely, in their own way, often all at once.
Which can sound as civilized as a well-watered garden party,
or it can sound like last call in a college town on a Thursday night.
Either way, I eavesdrop, as writers are prone to do,
hoping to come away with something useful.
Sometimes it’s a heated argument.
Sometimes it’s witty banter.
Sometimes it’s a comeback or a punchline or a bawdy sex joke.
Sometimes it’s intimate conversation.
Sometimes it’s that one loud asshole trying to outfart everyone.
Sometimes it’s this forlorn howl from the wilderness.
Sometimes I recognize the voice as my own.
Regardless, when the signal interrupts the static,
I try to be receptive. I write down what I’m able
to decipher from the last transmission.
Hence the waterproof pad I keep in the shower.
As for the weirdness she’s observed of late—
somber notes, lengthening shadows, dark tones,
the timbre of a rattling lid on a boiling pot.
Chalk it up to labor pain,
the Spiritus Mundi working its way through me,
or it was something I ate.