It is cold in the bathroom, cold in the entire house. I do not raise the heat these days. I like it cold. There is an unseen layer of blue draped like curtains, like drop cloth, like hospital sheets, draped over everything. The bath mat is blue. The towel is blue.
My skin is not blue, it is pale, beginning to bump up from the cold. The heat from the shower, from the scalding water that I allow every evening to wash over me, to burn away the dirt and the pain and the sorrow that I accumulate throughout the day, that heat is fading as I stand naked in front of the mirror and look at my face in the glass. My lips are chapped. There are dark circles under my eyes. Something is stuck between my teeth. I lean in closer, run my tongue over it: basil.
Thirty-five years old and I have been running around with a piece of dinner stuck between my teeth for at least four hours. Who has seen it there and not said anything to me? The woman who rang up my groceries? The librarian who checked out my books?
No husband. No children. No pets. I had a plant, but I forgot to water it, or else I watered it too much, I don’t know which.
I am cold, all of me is cold, except my eyes, which are wet and hot, steaming around their edges, black and hot like stones in a fire, like coal before it smolders.
I am feeling a make or break coming on, I think. The cracks will either reveal something new underneath or leave me crumbled to dust and bone on the floor.
Which will it be, which will it be?