i'm not going to change my mind. i'm already dressed. why bother.
just do it. you'll feel better. i can stay.
but you'll have to wake them up. get them going. and anyway, how long would i have? i hate rushing.
it's fine. it's enough time. go.
i never like to give in. but this is a carrot i have to take. he's right, i will feel better. but i won't say that. it'll be less like giving in that way. i like to hang on to my convictions. about showering?
i take everything off that i just put on. (layers.) socks and legwarmers under jeans. long sleeved shirt under sweater. five buttons. all the rest. (it doesn't take long.) (a rumpled pile.) (a second skin.)
the water steams. it taps on my skull, weeps down my spine. i close my eyes and all my skin is gone. i am unformed. water vapor. transparent. a ghost.
but then. crack. i hear their voices. i quiver, dimensional again. their footsteps concentrate my mass. i squeeze my eyes and crank the water to ice. i gasp. involuntary. first breath.
and now. i'm solid. i redress.