Bath Water

Brice Beasley-Murray


“ …. She thinks I will get into that lava called water, my whole body at a time.”


I was in my adolescent years, I had to take baths every Saturday and Sunday. My mother said that a bath was much better than a shower and that it was the “ Old Fashioned” Way of cleansing yourself. I hardly ever argued with my mother and I thought that a bath would never be the first thing to stir that pot. I was wrong.

One Saturday evening I remember vividly, particularly because it would be something hard to forget. My father was crunching on a bag of Trix Mix and watching a football game. I could hear him shouting at the television for one of the colors to make a touchdown. Then came the fateful time of my bath. I heard at first the water running, and was full out ready for my twice-a-weekly scrubbing. What I didn’t know was what was going to come next in this sequence of such an event. I was always the cautious type when it came to things that seemed peculiar to me. Once when I was about nine or ten, me and my family went to an amusement park. I was not about to go on the horrific scenes from Final Destination adult rides so I stuck with my younger siblings

and we went to the “ Kiddie” section. All the rides looked innocent enough, so in my head, I thought,

“ Pssh, I can take one of these rides, I’m a big girl.”

Boy, was I wrong. When I got on the ride, all the other children. Yes, I said children. Where maybe I don’t know 2 or 3 years younger than me. And that’s right you guessed it I was the only kid one step from crying while the other kids were laughing their young hearts out.

So, I take one toe, my big toe. I put it into the water…. For half a millisecond. Then I walk out of the bathroom with my bath towel under my tied robe. When my mother saw that I was still not cleaned to the very tip, she took matters into her own hands. Literally. She grabbed me by the towel into the bathroom, closed the door, and told me to get into the water. You see my brain wanted my body to be placed in the water so that I wouldn't get in trouble, by that I mean a lickin’. But, my body didn’t. So, I just stood there frozen looking like I should be in something hot, unthawing. Luckily the bath was there, but I still wasn't going in it. When my mother said again the words

“ Get in the bath, now.” I knew she wasn’t playing. But, still, in my head, I’m thinking This woman must have lost her marbles if she thinks that I will get in that lava called water, my whole body at a time. That’s when it happens. My mother looking very agitated at my

immaturity takes one hand. Her left hand. Out of her pocket, and slowly deposits her hand underneath the “ Water”. I swear I could hear the sizzling of her burning flesh when she did it. She kept her hand there for a minute, and when she turned up to look at me, took it out. So cleanly that the water did not make one wave or ripple. I was in awe of my mother at that point in time. I thought she was the strongest thing to walk on planet Earth. While thinking this I stood there staring at her. As if a Leopard was gazing at its prey. Then she takes her hands, not smiling. Around my waist and plops me into the water. At that point, I want to say something I would probably regret saying. but I don’t, and I sit there still staring but not this time at my mother, but at my own two feet. Even though I am melting and some bone is about to show. I stayed in that bath for over three minutes, which in my opinion should be placed in a record book. I even have the burn marks to prove it.