man in a bathtub


andrea vilar

Johnny woke up, shivered, put on his robe over his sweats, got back got
back under the covers
and went to sleep. Two hours later, the alarm by the TV woke up a still
chilly Johnny Black.

Johnny turned on the shower and used the plug from the kitchen sink to fill
the bathtub up. He got in, turned
the water up till it was a little more than warm, then lay down under the
hot, pounding stream from
the shower head. The water always seemed to cool off by the time it hit the
tub -- maybe because of the
cool air in the room. Well, soon the room would warm up as it filled with
the hot water vapor pouring out
of the glass shower.

Johnny put his hands under his head and lay back all the way so the water
filled his ears. Now he heard
the shower hitting the water in the tub from underwater. Everything seemed a
lot quieter now. Johnny felt
tired and dizzy and glad to be motionless, resting, quiet. Everything felt
perfect. The water landing was still
a little warm, but the water filling the tub was the perfect temperature.
Johnny couldn\'t think how he could
be happier -- maybe if he didn\'t have to go to work in an hour, but right
now that seemed a long way off.
Johnny closed his eyes and rested peacefully, slipping in and out of a half
dream of floating through warm
liquid clouds.

Suddenly, Johnny felt very cold. Something was wrong. He was no longer
tired, but he couldn\'t tell why.
As he opened his eyes, he became aware of the fact that the temperature
around him was much cooler
than it had been a moment ago -- not cold, but not the perfect, dreamy bath
he had gotten used to. As
soon as he started to look around, his mind absorbed exactly what was wrong.
It had been hours since he
had closed his eyes. The bathtub had overflowed a long time ago and the
bathroom floor was flooded! The carpets were soggy, and the room had a
stuffy smell to it.

Somehow, Johnny felt in no hurry to do anything. It was clear that this had
gone on so long that a few
more minutes wouldn\'t hurt anything. John gazed up at the bathroom window, a
skylight he had built himself years ago.There it stood, miles above his
head. Johnny suspected it was about noon. He could feel how pruned his
hands were, with wrinkles all over. He could hear scratching on the
outside of the glass. He must not have closed
the door to the bathroom all the way because now his cat was sitting on the
toilet, apparently trying to get
into the flooded tub. John had a vague thought about how cats weren\'t
supposed to like water as he
watched the blurry shape of the cat through the fogged up shower curtain,
then he closed his eyes again.

Now, it was definitely colder. Without even opening his eyes, Johnny could
see that it was now dark. No
light passed through his eyelids at all. He could feel the cool evening air
on his face, but for some reason
the bath water had gotten warmer.
Johnny had been hungry in his sleep, but now that feeling was beginning to
pass. He felt curious, as though
there was something he needed to think about, but he couldn\'t focus on what.
He felt exhausted, unable to
move or even open his eyes. He could hear the cat actually meowing from
somewhere outside the tub,
probably wanting to be fed, but there was nothing he could do for her.

He wondered how long the hot water would last. He wondered about the damage
to the carpeting in the
apartment. He wished he could see the sunshine through the skylight. He
thought back to his dream
about the clouds, and about how warm he had felt then, and how warm he felt
now, and how unhappy he
had been when he thought he had to go to work, and how relieved he was to
find out that he had been
able to avoid it, and how peaceful he felt right now. Then, slowly, without
opening his eyes, Johnny
suddenly became aware that he was floating through the clouds again.

Category: English