So. Last Thursday was sunny. And productive. And scared the bejezzus outta me.
It started out spectacularly well. Productive morning discovering time saving and remarkable Photoshop brushes and furring up some tiger illos, followed by a extra long walk with the wolf bathed in sunlight and the positively electrifying knowledge that spring was well and truly on the way, knowledge relayed in the thrilled trills of little birdies everywhere and trees bristling with still hard, not yet green, buds of potential leafyness. Made a little detour on the way home, stopping at Wendy's for a fruit salad (Just so you know, in my opinion the Wendy's fruit bowl is far superior to the McDonald's fruit bowl which is cheaper, but consists mainly of apples and grapes), returned home to feed the wolf and devour my fruit bowl along with a cup of vanilla yogurt. Bribed the wolf into letting me brush the burs out of her feathers and tail with handful of doggity treats. Laid on freshly made bed with the wolf, stroking her petal soft ears until she dropped off for her nap and then returned to my computer to whip off a quick blog entry (the last one) and finish a quick little design project for a client. Spent rest of the afternoon with nose pressed to computer screen, massaging book illustrations. At five minutes to six, rose from my desk and skipped to the loo , desperately needing to empty my bladder before making the trek to pick up Jack at the train station.
Sitting on the throne, frowning at a clump of Finny fur knitting itself along the baseboards, I glimpsed a gentle movement to my right. I glanced at the shower curtain and froze mid-stream.
The shower curtain. Was MOVING. Subtly, threateningly. The shower curtain was also CLOSED all the way. ALL THE WAY! And not in the casual manner someone might close the shower curtain after showering, either. NO. It was pulled taut, from end to end. Stretched like a hide or a scar or a lid of Saran Wrap over something alarming and large and out to get me.
Hmmm, that's weird, I thought to myself. The shower curtains in our house NEVER get closed all the way. NEVER. Not unless someone is behind it.
Oh dear God. There is someone behind it, there is someone behind it! An uninvited someone. An evil and threatening someone. A serial killing someone! Lurking. Breathing. Waiting! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.
All the blood that had frozen in my veins suddenly rushed to my head and began pounding out the theme from Halloween on my eardrums, sending tattoos of red shooting across my retinas. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.
I didn't even finish peeing. I pawed desperately at the toilet paper holder, wiped and whipped up my jeans in record time and not even pausing to flush or wash my hands, I pounced on the wolf (dozing peacefully on my bed) and dragged her down the stairs, jamming on my shoes on the way. I tripped out the front door and sprinted to the car only to realize I didn't have the car keys. Ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod. I would have to go back into the house with the serial killer seething behind my shower curtain. Ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod.
I sort of stuffed the wolf into the backseat of the car and ran back inside to snatch the keys out of the little white lidded bowl on the hall table. But they weren't there! (ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod) and I had to sprint to the kitchen where I remembered leaving them on the counter. Instead of risking the race back to the front door, I slipped out the french door leading from the kitchen out to the backyard then raced around to the front of the house and piled into the driver's seat, panting (ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod) .
I stared at my house for a minute, half-expecting Jason/Buffalo Bill/ Hannibal Lector to come screaming out my front door, bloodlust in his bugging eyes, slashing implement in hand and swiping madly at the air. I imagined myself being forced to throw the car into drive and flatten my attacker ruthlessly under the wheels of my little silver car, or pin him against the garage door. Ohmygod, ohmygod,ohmygod.
In the back seat, Finny yawned and smacked her lips. Then leaned forward, as is her habit when I'm in the car, to rest her chin on my shoulder.
On my way to the train station, a full 30 minutes early, it occurred to me that the serial killer must have been hanging out behind the shower curtain for a good five hours while I ate my fruit bowl, brushed my dog, fiddled in Photoshop and listened to my iTunes at top volume. Five hours! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. Five hours of waiting, plotting, greedying behind that shower curtain.
Sitting in my car in the "kiss and cry" area of the parking lot, it occurred to me (slowly) that perhaps Jack had closed the curtain after his shower in the a.m. That was possible, right? That was a sound explaination. But no. No way. He NEVER ever ever closes the curtain after he gets out. Never. And Jack is nothing if not a creature of habit. And I didn't do it. I know I didn't do it. And Finny certainly didn't do it.
But speaking of Finny... even if I was entirely oblivious to the stranger lurking in my soaker tub, wouldn't she have smelled him? Wouldn't she have known there was something, someone in there? Surely. Surely if someone was in there, she would have padded into the bathroom at least ONCE in those five hours, tail beating against the side of the tub making those echoing thumps, like the ghostly drowned boy in The Changeling, to drop her tennis ball over the side like she does when I'm in there, soaking, balancing it carefully on edge of the tub before nudging it purposefully into the water and beaming with doggy delight. Surely.
Before Jack had even made it halfway to the car, I was out of the door and asking him breathlessly,"Did you close the shower curtain this morning?"
He tipped his head slightly to the side and gave me his best quizzical "Oh, Mel, you're such a freak" expression before answering slowly, suspiciously "uh, yeah. hi. Yeah."
"You did?! you did?! Why? Why would you do that? Why would you do that? You NEVER do that!!! Why would you do that and not warn me!!!"
I didn't even have to tell him the whole story. He immediately burst out laughing, practically braying while i pinked and purpled and essentially expired from embarrassment.
On the way home, he explained that it occurred to him that the plastic shower liner, which is always icky and spotted with soap scum, never gets the opportunity to dry properly because it's always bunched back in the open position so he thought he would start closing it to give it the chance to dry.
I should have known. I should have known this unexpected change in routine had something to do with household hygiene and how to improve it. Jack is a Virgo and as such, is impossibly preoccupied with household hygiene and all that nonsense. He's all about the cleanliness and the neatness and the tidy.
Me, on the other hand, being decidedly un-Virgo and wholly Saggitarian, I'm all about the run-away imaginings and the drama.
But HA! the joke was on him as I purposefully and deliberately wiped my hands – my dirty, dirty hands which I had neglected to wash due to his freaky experiment in hygiene and the midstream wig out it produced – all over his clothing and cheeks while he squirmed and tried to manfully pretend it didn't bother him.