Linda Price

Angel bath

The woman is curled in the narrow tub. Eyes closed, she stretches and leans her neck against the angle of the bath. Wasps of grey hair stick to the skin at the nape of her neck. Cotton wool water fluffs against her belly. Traffic noise and human voices waft through the square window. The blue tablet wound in plastic is lodged inside the black vanity case which sits on the wooden shelf. Its promise of oblivion lures her eyes open. This wallowing within the very fragments of memory must cease. She draws the checked towel, grey and pink, into focus. Grasping the sides of the bath, she pulls herself to her feet. Red painted toes shimmer below the water. She reaches for the towel and wraps the cotton around her damp skin. As she heaves herself out of the tub to stand firmly on the linoleum floor she feels the beginning of a glow around her waist. The sensation thickens to form a Bentley belt of rubbery light. It encircles her being. And in the moment she feels a tentative togetherness. Perhaps the blue tablet will remain mummified in plastic.

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