Your nails are green. Your body is pink. The tiles are white, and you are alone. The water is hot and you are sitting on the floor of the shower trying to pee. It’s not working. Not that it’s ever been a problem before, but your bladder stubbornly remains half full of piss after thirty minutes of attempted expulsion. You wonder if distracting yourself from the problem at hand may aid in diminishing it. You’re trying to sing something—anything—and you’re just sitting naked on the floor of your shower in your old bedroom in your mother’s half empty, generally uninhabited house in Michigan, remembering all those nights you did the same damn thing and daydream about the days when everything would get better. Those were the days. These are the days? It blends together sometimes. You don’t want to look in the mirror on the back of the bathroom door. All the previous reflections of yourself stare back at you—thinner, younger, sometimes crying, but always more content—grabbing opposite elbows as your forearms rest against the front of your knees, your back is hunched, and you strike your most affected pose at the mirror. You could be her again. Maybe. You think about sighing but sighing is useless when no one is there to hear it. Your ass feels as though it’s been plastered onto the tiles and as you shift your weight, the water flows back underneath it, and this prompts you to look to your left and the mirror shows you a mass of pink flesh writhing on the tiles, and you can’t stop looking at it in horror or in confusion or in some other emotion you can’t identify yet. You can’t pee. You’ve never wanted to urinate so badly in your entire life. And you can’t tell if it’s stage fright or sadness or substances, but your bladder simply refuses to release its liquid prisoner and you suddenly feel bad for old men who must have similar tribulations. It’s a Friday night, and if time has taught you anything, you’re never going to be this happy, or this svelte, or this in love ever again. When you were younger, you talked to God. You would finish your homework, run upstairs, fuck around on your phone for a little while, and strip naked, slipping into the shower and melting onto its floor. You’d sing something until the words became indistinguishable and then you’d look in the mirror, shift your body forward so the water would drip down your face, and you would talk to God. You weren’t even sure if you believed in God, but you thought that maybe if you got the words out, somehow they might prove their own importance. And half of the time you would feel like crying. And some of the time you would. But you would talk. You’d tell God about all the things you wish were different, and how you really really really loved so-and-so, and wanted to be with him forever, and how you weren’t sure if God was real or not, but if you felt as though there were evidence that what you were saying was getting through to some omniscient, omnipotent being then you would definitely believe in a God figure. Some days you would finish off with some prayers you still remembered from Hebrew School. Some days you would just beg until you couldn’t speak any longer. “Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please,” suddenly the word had no meaning, you would mispronounce it, you would forget it ever existed. Each letter seemed foreign as it endlessly tumbled out of your mouth, and you would wonder if God could tell you had no idea what you were saying anymore. You would wonder if God would even care if he/she/it did. You contemplated being your own God. You wondered if you were just talking to yourself. You wondered if maybe dead relatives were listening in and learning about your life as you begged something—anything—to change it. Sometimes you would lay on your back, your ass covering the drain, with your legs spread and extended above you, each foot resting against a white tile wall—a slick, wet brushstroke would appear against the steam-kissed tiles as your feet slipped a bit lower, and your back arched, and your hair would be swimming around your head as the steaming water rose around you—the showerhead positioned directly above your clit, the hot water accomplishing things no man (or woman) ever did. Afterward, you would peel your hands off your tits, plunge them in the water, and slide your feet down the wall, pushing off with your legs. The drain would suddenly go into hyperdrive, a tiny vortex in the upstairs bathroom. You’d sit there in your afterglow wondering if ghosts existed, and if they did, did your dead relatives or unknown ancestors or even your old music teacher ever watch you in the shower. If they ever did, they clearly couldn’t do anything about it. And you’d stand up, turn off the shower, look at yourself in the mirror wringing out your hair, open the shower door, and hide under a towel as the steam escaped. You’d jump into bed, and immediately regret getting your sheets wet, but it was a habit. You had a routine. You miss the days of that routine. You look at the time, and you’ve been sitting in the shower for forty minutes now, and you still can’t pee. You hope it’s cancer, or kidney failure. You know it’s not, but would it really be so bad if it were? You wonder if this will be a better year. You know it’s not, but would it really be so bad if it were? You miss who you used to be when you were aching to become who you are. Suddenly, a stream of urine is released and you close your eyes, for once unable to think of anything better.

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