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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Thursday, August 08, 2002

Remind me never to do that again!
Last night I did something utterly dumb. I fell asleep in the bathtub. It's a huge garden bathtub, and I only had to bend my knees slightly in order to submerge most of my body. I had done something earlier in the day which was equally stupid. Ignoring the "smog alerts" I took a ten minute walk down Peachtree Road. I grew up and raised my sons in the the rural area of fSouth Carolina, where the most noxious things we had to concern ourselves over were the cows and our husbands. When I heard about cities with smog problems, I assumed it was something that would smell or burn a person's eyes. I suppose, if exposed to it long enough, the same might be true of the smog I endured yesterday; however I decided to park my car, and for health reasons, take a short walk to take care of some business. The walk was pleasant enough, and a summer breeze kept me as comfortable as could be expected for an August afternoon in the South. After completing my errands, I returned to my car on the other side of the street. Since moving to Atlanta three years ago, and discovering that the Buckhead Marta Station has a walk through that passes under the street, I have wanted to try it out. Yesterday, I did. My mistake was on the way to the walk-through. The sidewalk "over there" was uneven, but I did not notice it until it was too late. My right foot slipped off the edge of the sidewalk, and while I did not twist my foot or wrench my ankle, I sure did something to cause pain.

I said a few words that I'd rather not repeat to my mother, praised the Universe that I had not fallen on a place that keeps my leather chair nice and warm, and reallized how fortunate I was that I'd only slipped, and not fallen. I continued my walk, and met Curtis at his office. I joined him as his chief cheerleader while he bowled, and was really grateful that they did not need me to sub for them. My head was aching badly. My foot was beginning to throb. Why did my doctor choose this week to take her vacation? I realized the headache was probably from the smog, and hoped it would subside soon, but it persisted throughout the night. After dinner, I did not even feel like writing much, so I just blogged a poem I had written several years ago. Around midnight, I decided that a long soak in a hot tub might be just the balm for my aching head and foot. I made certain that the water was just right before stepping in. It was nearly perfect: warmer than tepid, but cooler than scalding. I sat on the edge for a few minutes and soaked only my feet while the water cooled enough for the rest of me. I slouched down and got comfortable. My head ached too much for me to bother to read, so I thought I'd work on simple existence while my body healed in the restorative waters. I found that if I slouched just a wee bit more, my head and neck would be fully supported on the back edge of the tub, and it was natural to close my eyes while I concentrated on breathing and being. Simply being is not as easy as one might imagine. It takes great concentration and deliberation to block out things that require thought, such as doing the laundry, doing the dishes, doing, doing, doing! But I think I managed to exist for a full 30 or 40 seconds before I fell asleep in the bathtub.

I don''t have a clue how long I was in the tub, or how long I was sleeping, but Curtis came to me tenderly and woke me. He said he was afraid I'd drowned, becuase I seldom soak in the tub, and when I do, I almost never am silent for so long. He knew that I'd been "out" for at least fifteen minutes, each minute thinking that he'd soon hear me. He knows that I value my personal time and space above almost anything, so he was very reluctant to intrude. I must admit, I felt great, and my headache had vanished, even if my foot still ached. The water had not cooled too much, so that must be what kept me contentedly snoozing. I slept like an innocent child last night, but this morning, I have a bruised spot on my upper back where I rested against the tub. It's only a bit uncomfortable, but I think next time, I'll indulge in the negative ions of my shower.