FEET – Flash Fiction


Today, UberFacts tweeted, “Studies show that people who feel lonely are more likely to take longer showers and longer baths.” I, of course, completely disagreed (denial); and during a (rather long) shower, I came up with this. Tell me what you think!

Lonely, my foot!

My feet? Ew, don’t remind me I need to get a pedicure. Soon. If Felix hadn’t used my nail polishes to paint the backyard fence, maybe I could get around to doing it myself.

There’s so little time, you know. But showers are my me-time. There’s an indescribable comfort that comes from that shower head. It does one or all of the following things:

  1. Lowers blood pressure. (Very good for a mom of five children – two sets of twins and a single. Their names? Jason and Ava, Hayley, Dana and Felix. I can say them all at once, but put one by itself in front of me and I go through the list just to make sure I get the right name. Understand what I mean? You go, Momma. Don’t understand? Get kids.)
  2. Gives me time to think. (It’s the best place to come up with grocery lists; to-do lists; chores for the kids, for Tyler, for me. It’s the best place to remember who you’ve forgotten to call, to write, to visit. Funny though – the thoughts shoot out of the shower head, steam around a bit, and then either evaporate or go down the drain. Every time.)
  3. Oh, and of course it cleans me up. (Thank goodness my kids grew out of barfing on me.)

It’s the one place people leave me alone, unless Tyler happens to be home. He likes to sit on the shut toilet and talk to me – probably because I don’t reply or say much. No talkback. Truth is, I can hardly hear what he says.

And then there was the time Jason trooped in. That wasn’t so bad. He was four and a half at the time, but he brought five of his friends with him.

“Mommy, can you get the lego box for me?” Jason was chewing on a shoestring, was wearing a feathered mohawk and a purple cape. He was totally casual but some of his friends were blinking. I just hoped they’d seen their own mothers in the shower or something.

“Holy smokes.” Aiden was already six and had teenage brothers.

Jason learned a new vocabulary word that day – emergency.

The doorbell rings. More neighborhood kids dropping by. Was I as popular as my kids at that age?

Lather, rinse, and repeat.

There’s a banging on the door. I turn the water down.

“Mom! Ava turned the TV on without asking.” Dana plays her role as the tattletale so well.

“I’m coming in a minute!” I yank the water back up full-power. One more minute turns into two more, then three. I have a good excuse. Mom is coming tonight to look after the kids so Tyler and I can go on a date. Tyler spends a lot of his work hours in the city hall archives, and it’s dark and musty down there. He likes smelling something nice for a change. And those files he handles are so rough. I’d better shave while I’m at this.

A half hour later, Ava and her friends have long since left the TV and are playing cards on the back patio. At least I think it’s cards.

Hayley is reading a book on the couch. Normally, she hates reading so I check on her. She’s not feeling well and when I bundle her in my arms, she gags once and then spews a lot of vomit all over my night-out dress.

“I’m home!”

I try to escape to the shower before he can see me.


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