Arno River, Firenze, Italia

Arno River, Firenze, Italia

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blood and bidets.

Our shower is a rectangle of close quarters.  A porcelain square with raised edges sits in the corner of the bathroom.  And a dark blue plastic shower curtain encloses the space, cutting off its supply of light and in some cases, air.

It’s a tiny space.  More often then not, the plastic sheet sticks to me like a batman cape, and the water temperature never reaches a middle ground.

It was a Friday morning—no class on Fridays.  So I decided to undertake the great annoyance of shaving.

I really hate to shave.  Especially in Italy.  Our shower is too small to accomplish such a task.  Solution.  Shave in the bidet. 

The right leg was a success.  And then I switched legs, bracing my left foot against the bidet, and rebalancing myself to finish the job.  All of a sudden, out of the corner of eye, I noticed a flash of red against the orange terracotta tile.  I had cut my right heel and hadn’t even noticed.  And it was bleeding profusely onto the floor. (And by profusely, it had started to puddle.)  My three blade Venus and I never seem to get along.

I tiptoed, like that would reduce the loss of blood, into the shower, throwing a backwards glance to the floor, grimacing at the mess.

In our shower, you have to give the water time to heat.  Normally I push the showerhead to the side so the initial shock of cold doesn’t cause heart palpitations.  This morning I did the same.   Except, instead of swinging to the side, the entire plumping network fell into my hands!  Standing on one foot, while the other bled, I attempted to jam it back into the wall.  And once I could remove my hands without greater incident, I realized it was pointing directly down at me.  Exactly what I was trying to avoid.

I winced, prepared for the onslaught of cold water, but instead of an icy and rude awakening, the water steamed from the open spigot, HOT.

And then, all of a sudden, instincts roaring, I was an undercover spy, trying to hide myself in the folds of blue plastic while avoiding the boiling rays of the laser beam shooting from the wall.  And my heel was still happily bleeding onto the white porcelain, blowing my cover.  For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to turn off the water. 

Now I couldn’t wrap myself in a clean towel (compliments of fresh laundry day) without actually showering.  It just wasn’t right.  So slowly and methodically, I worked through my shower, trying to limit my time under the water.  Arm in.  Hot! Next, the right leg.  Ouch.  Now the left one.

And then I had this strange feeling.  It was almost as if I was standing in the kiddie end of the pool or had just started to wade into the ocean.  I looked down to find I was showering in a puddle of pink water that had collected at my feet and was dangerously nearing the top lip of the porcelain shower stand.  Awesome. 

I used my toes to wiggle at the drain, trying to somehow nudge it back to life.  And nothing happened.  So I took it as my curtain call and turned off the water.  Shower over. 

And as I cleaned up the footprints of blood, the water slowly ran out of the tub.  What cruel timing.   

I’ll conquer the shower another day.

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