showering with ghosts, aka: you can’t go home again

I spent this past weekend at my parents’ house. They had planned a trip out of town and we were staying at their house to keep their dogs company.We live three miles down the road from them so it’s not like we had very far to go to get there, but it was an interesting experience none the less.

Sleeping in my old room was weird but not terribly so. It’s funny how quickly you become reacquainted with things – traffic noise from the nearby road, the way the neighbor’s outside light shines in the bedroom window just so, the sounds of the house creaking and popping in the cold (it was 15 below on Saturday night, not including the wind chill). I wouldn’t say that I slept great while we were there, but it felt pretty familiar even so.

What really threw me off though, was taking a shower at their house. The shower isn’t any different than it ever was – same grey tiles, same black grout. Same creepy drain cover that isn’t actually attached but rather just sits there over the drain hole and slides off if you hit it with your toe. I read too much Stephen King as a teenager to ever be ok with anything other than firmly affixed drain covers, for what it’s worth.

Anyway – point being, nothing about the shower itself had changed appreciably since the last time I showered there many years ago. And really, it’s not like I’ve changed all that much either. But there was just something about standing there smelling the slight sulfur funk of the water, looking out the frosted glass door into the grey and blue bathroom, touching that damn drain cover with my toes and getting creeped the fuck out by it all over again. It wasn’t nostalgic as much as…just wrong feeling. It felt like I was intruding – like I had walked into a stranger’s house and gotten into their shower, but at the same time it was all incredibly familiar because I’ve done it thousands of times before.

It was like I remembered the shower, but the shower didn’t remember me. And that was a little bit sad-making.

But then I got over it because the alternative was to start taking showers at my parents’ house more often and I’m sorry but that drain cover is just WAY too fucking creepy. NO THANK YOU.


Here’s a sassy baby skunk picture I found on Google after I did an image search for “creepy drains” and scared myself so badly that nothing other than a cute animal picture palate cleanser could make me feel better about life. Baby skunk says GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!

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