Morning. Long awake. The enjoyment of a novel completed and set down, logged into my list of books read and books awaiting. A few more long minutes of rolling over onto my side to enjoy eyes closed and the quiet of Sunday morning, surprising quiet in my densely populated neighborhood of apartments atop apartments beside apartments.
I feel the pull to climb from bed. To start. To stand. Towards the bathroom I walk. Eyes to the bathtub. Turn the tap and close the drain. A brush of teeth as the tub fills. An unwrapping of a fresh toothbrush after I realize it’s already the second day of the month and my hygienist recommends fresh bristles on the flip of the calendar.
Task complete. I climb into the tub. A soak anticipated. A slow entry into the day. I see the large jar of sea salts sitting before me. I usually turn away, not a huge fan, not from a place of displeasure but from never having fully felt the tingle. Today I say, Yes, I will soak with you. I add a generous supply to the water below the tap, close the lid, and replace the jar. I lay back and relax.
My mind dances. It always does. Leaps from thought to idea and back again. Heads west and circles left. Constant motion. Constant exploration. I reach for bath gel, spill a little into my palm, and lather up. Rinse. No repeat. Moments pass. Mind still moving. And then I see it. I train my focus, for it can’t be real, can’t really be there, but it is.
Floating five feet above me to the right is the tiniest of soap bubbles, at most a quarter inch in diameter. How it got there, I can’t imagine. My eyes lock on, follow its descent, waiting to see where it will land. It magically avoids the shower curtain and darts towards the green-tiled wall. I await the collision, but no, the bubble changes direction, zooms towards free air and leaps skyward. A collision with the ceiling, I think. But no, the bubble reins itself in. Stops short. Chooses a new course.
This goes on for five minutes. I barely breathe. I refuse to move. I don’t want to create air currents to affect movement. I invite the bubble to land on me. It hovers above. I think of Glenda the Good Witch and her descent to earth. I watch and watch and move my mind away from impatience, away from wanting to know how it will end. I just keep watching.
The bubble circles the entire area above the bath. It never heads towards the more open area of the room. It travels perilously close to the walls, but always dodges away at the final moment. I think, No one will believe this.
The bubble comes dangerously close to my face, so close that my eyes can’t focus. I fear I will lose its story in my failing vision. I fear I won’t see its last moments. But then it moves away. I follow its path. It circles me twice again, and then moves across my body. Diagonally. Slowly. It dips. It dips more. And it lands. Of all the places, it lands upon me. An inch from where left arm meets body. It doesn’t break. The bubble bonds with my skin and sits there in its perfect form. I wait. I wonder. And then it’s gone. It didn’t really pop. It just ceased to be.
I sit up, release the drain, and reach for a towel. I climb from the bath, enter my bedroom, and head to the keyboard.